graculus: (Default)
First off, a request: does anyone reading this have a Windows XP Home installation disk I can borrow? There will be a prize if anyone is able to help me with this!

I thought I was having graphics card issues but it now seems to be both the monitor (which is about 6-7 years old, I guess) and the computer (at least 10 years old, with various bits of it having been previously replaced) both turning up their toes simultaneously. I'm left with a computer that now won't boot up and the recommended way forward seems to be reinstallation, except I don't have the requisite disk and the company that sold the PC went under years back. So, rather than turn to dodgy folks on the internet I don't know for assistance, I thought I'd start with dodgy folks on the internet I do know! :P

In other news, I've just got back from my last full day of invigilating exams, with just one left to do next week. This morning's was for folks doing a Drama module in the English dept. and involved them watching a scene from Faustus (yes, [personal profile] morganmuffle, the one with Evil!Rory as Mephistopheles) six times, after which they were supposed to go off with their respective invigilators and write about it. Except that I took my student and then discovered shortly after that all the other students had trailed along behind us like ducklings because we looked like we knew where we were going. Heh.

Back to the day job on Monday...
graculus: (geek love)
My computer has been playing up for a while, just turning itself off, and earlier in the week it just refused to do anything at all. I'd lined someone up to have a look at it, but then had a brainwave: when I opened the case, I swear there was a dusthippo rather than a dustbunny!

Am now totally mortified. However, it does save me worrying about the computer guy finding large amounts of gay pr0n on my PC. ;)
graculus: (sarcasm)
I had the great pleasure of calling out the RAC this evening when I was about 10 miles from home after the alternator on my car decided to give up the ghost. It could have been worse, though, since I was on a small country road with somewhere convenient to pull over rather than on the motorway. Also, it only took the RAC guy about 45 minutes to get to me, which was also pretty good going.

So glad that the car's still under warranty, as I'm sure this isn't going to be cheap. The main problem now becomes twofold - a) getting to work tomorrow, and b) getting my car to the Peugeot garage which is only open when I'm at work and should be somewhere else entirely. This is why I need servants! :P
graculus: (sarcasm)
It took me three hours to get to work this morning and it just took me almost two hours to get home (note: on a good day, traffic-wise, I can do the same journey in well under an hour). It should be Saturday tomorrow. *pouts*

The weather is miserable. Our Zimbabwean worker was adamant that we can't call this 'summer' because that's clearly not an applicable term to the weather we've been having all bloody week.

In other news, Dougal seems to be getting skinnier and skinnier, though he's still eating and drinking - while it's going in one end and coming out of the other, I'm trying not to worry about him too much. At the moment he is getting preferential treatment with the chicken paste and the Ferretvite, and that certainly seems to have perked his appetite up again. Poor old sod.

E.T.A And now the latest Windoze 'security update' has completely sporked the internet connection on my desktop. I know this because a) my Ubuntu laptop still connects (otherwise I wouldn't be posting) and b) I did a system restore and it connected perfectly first time and then I reinstalled the Windoze stuff again and it wouldn't work. Grrrr.

Further E.T.A. Apparently this may have something to do with a problem between the Windoze update and ZoneAlarm firewalls. Sheesh.
graculus: (geek love)
Arrived safely in Nova Scotia at lunchtime and am now nicely ensconced in a very nice B&B with a big comfy bed. Despite being right by the airport last night, I slept like the proverbial rock and was distinctly unimpressed by the 6am wake-up call that was necessary for me to catch my flight. However, it's great to have the cobwebs blown out by getting out there by the water again, even if the seagulls make me feel like I'm back in my hometown (*waves to [livejournal.com profile] sg1scribe*).

I also had fun and games with my laptop when I got here, as somehow I had managed to accidentally delete my wireless connection, so that I had to go on the B&B's computer to get an answer as to how to restore it. It was something stupidly easy, of course, so I have to make sure I lock the buttons so I don't get rid of it again.

No Tim Horton's so far today, though I did pass one on my wander around town to orient myself, so I will be stopping by there later on. However, I did have lunch at a nice Italian restaurant (penne with roasted garlic and asparagus, followed by praline gelato... yum!) while I was waiting for my room to be ready. Yes, I really feel like I'm on holiday now!
graculus: (Charlie - WTF?)
My desktop is becoming more and more unpredictable, as it has developed a tendency to suddenly shut down for no apparent reason - at first I thought it was complaining that I was trying to get it to do more than one thing at a time, but even that isn't consistent, as sometimes it'll reboot itself in the middle of the night while nothing is going on. And I don't even get the BSOD, it just goes off, which makes me think it's a hardware problem rather than a software one.

Well, at least I have the laptop, so there won't be a period of disconnection once I find someone to have a look at it (which is going to have to wait till after I get back from my hols). The thought of being completely disconnected from the interwebs fills me with horror! ;)

Speaking of hols, this time next week I'll be getting on the plane. Yikes, how did May come around so fast? It seems like only 5 minutes ago it was Christmas. I'm currently going through the pre-holiday routine of checking what I have and what I can't find (things like adapters and sunscreen usually being the main source of difficulty) and wondering just how much chocolate I can fit into one suitcase alongside everything else. The answer to that last question is, of course, 'a lot' or 'as much as will attract attention from the sniffer dogs at customs', based on past experience (though that could also have been down to the fact that, at one point, my suitcase used to be a favourite place for weasel snoozing).

Speaking of chocolate, I have to go and buy that, not to mention a memory card for my camera. If I do that today, then at least I won't be rushing round next weekend, when I want to go and see Iron Man and then have to take the kids off to their holiday accommodation. Because this afternoon I really have to finish that WWW story I've been working on. Really. Or else.
graculus: (geek love)
Oh, the joys of medication side effects. I think the insomnia I had last night is one of those, though it's hard to say whether my current knackered state is due to that or the pills.

I got to 4.30pm today and then O. decided she needed to ask me something. Which was fine except that after I'd finished talking with her, not completely confident that she wasn't just going to do whatever she wanted anyway even though I'd advised her not to, I knew I'd had enough. Someone else in earshot said they felt tired just listening to me and O. so I doubt there'll be too many complaints.

I told O. a few weeks ago that whoever supervises her gets an O. allowance on the principle that she's extra work. I was not kidding. Neither was O's manager when she told me that she thinks she deserves extra pay for supervising O. as she doesn't know what she's going on about half the time.
graculus: (Charlie - WTF?)
I have a feeling this may be the second of many parts. My lovely Ubuntu laptop was apparently despatched today, with no warning, despite the fact I was told I would receive an email to say it was being despatched. Okay then.

Then the courier company allegedly phoned me three times to see if I was in to accept a delivery. Except that the last number when I phone 1471 on my home phone is my mother, who phoned me on Saturday. Neither did they phone me at work, which was the other phone number I supplied, since I was there during the time when two of those three calls are supposed to have taken place - dude, we're local government, we're open till 5 and have to answer the phones in so many rings. Again, untruthfulness.

Allegedly they have now sent me a postcard inviting me to re-arrange a delivery they have apparently not even tried to make yet. We'll see...
graculus: (geek love)
Why oh why oh why (etc.) is breakfast radio just so gosh-darned awful?

I've been trying to find a radio station I can bear for the drive to work and got stuck in motorway traffic for the best part of an hour this morning, by which point I was ready to get out of the car and bludgeon somebody just because of the combination of relentless inanity and over-played music. The alternatives seem to be:

  • Radio 1 - fatuous self-obsessed arse, with sycophantic 'posse' and mostly-dodgy music
  • Radio 2 - Terry Wogan. Need I say more?
  • Radio 3 - Wagner! On the way to work! Oh lord.
  • Radio 4 - too dull and worthy to bear, all spoken word.
  • Various local BBC stations - bleurgh
  • Various non-BBC stations playing all the same middle of the road pap, with inane people
  • Kerrang - variously entertaining and annoying, the signal is crappy, and they apparently only have a playlist consisting of 12 songs!

    I was forced to go to HMV and buy stuff, just so I had something to play on the way home. And apparently the non-subliminal Kerrang thing worked, since one of the cds features a track in their 'hey, we have the entire history of rock music to fall back on, so let's keep on playing the same Foo Fighters track, something annoying by Nickelback and various other things till they are ingrained in our listeners' brains FOREVER!!11!!!!' insidious plan.

    I really must get a new mp3 player, since my current one isn't reliable enough to play through the car radio and thus save humanity. ;)
  • graculus: (Charlie - WTF?)
    Working at home today, for a change, as I have a hospital appointment at 12.30pm - how much more inconvenient a time could there be for someone who works anywhere but locally, let alone someone like me who has an hour's drive each way to work? It was work at home or drive to work and back twice in a day. No thanks. The odd thing was, when I told the admin staff yesterday, I said that this might hopefully be it in terms of hospital stuff for a while, depending on what the consultant says. But instead of 'consultant', the word that came out of my mouth was 'shrink'. I know they already think I'm a bit crazy, but they didn't need the proof... and it's not even correct, because I'm not seeing a psychiatrist! *headdesk*

    Secondly, going back to work yesterday after two weeks off and I locked myself out of the computer system because I couldn't remember my password. I've been riffing off various Harry Potter words for the last two years and my mind was just blank. More entertaining though, was my conversation with the helpdesk guy:

    Me: I've locked myself out of the system.
    Helpdesk Guy: Can you give me your name?
    Me: Sure, it's [Graculus]
    HG: You're based at [office]?
    Me: That's right.
    HG: Would you like me to reset your password?
    Me: .... Yes, that's why I phoned you.

    He then put me on hold, and I was just about able to stop laughing by the time he was done. ;)
    graculus: (weasel)
    Sadly, my digital camera seems to have decided that even brand new batteries are not good enough, so I have to try and find the instruction book and see if there's a reset button or something. If not for that, you would currently be enjoying a series of photos entitled 'No, Two Ferrets Cannot Both Be In An A4 Padded Envelope Simultaneously'. ;)

    Back to work tomorrow, woe.
    graculus: (Snape)
    It seems that the nature of the problem with my car means that the garage I usually go to can't fix it, so they've referred me onto someone else - he's not completely sure he agrees with the doom and gloom prognosis of the RAC man, but I have to wait till next Wednesday to find out since he's really busy. *crosses fingers and toes*

    In other news, my oedema clinic appointment has come through for mid-November (apparently it's only one morning a week, hence the wait, but I've been told it's about an hour with the consultant and specialist nurses) and my do-it-yourself diet plan seems to be working. I've lost about 10 pounds in the month or so since Doctor M. officially pronounced me to be a fat bastard. ;)

    In less promising news, I had an appointment lined up to see another doctor about my hands while I was off work but ended up cancelling it because they seemed to be better, but I've had a rough couple of nights this week so perhaps that was a bit premature. Or maybe I just need better drugs. Whatever the case, I can hardly believe that this time last year I was psyching myself up for the craziness that is NaNoWriMo... even the thought of 50,000 words makes my hands throb. Not that I'd written much this year before the hand thing came on, which is frustrating. I'm just not that enthused with any of my ideas for existing fandoms and nothing new is grabbing my attention in the same way.

    Erk.

    Oct. 24th, 2007 08:09 pm
    graculus: (shit)
    Well, I just got home. *sigh* My car broke down just after I got off the motorway on the way back from work, literally about 100 yards off the roundabout - I don't even want to think about what that sudden lack of go would have meant if I'd stayed on till the next junction, which I would have done if there hadn't been so much traffic.

    The prognosis is pretty grim, from what the RAC guy said, so it's quite possible it won't be worth my while to pay for the car to be repaired. Not much of a surprise, given that I had it from new in 2000 and it's done over 125,000 miles. The 90 mile round trip to work every day for two years hasn't helped with that!

    I'm not sure when my garage will be able to even look at it, as they're normally really busy, so I've had to hire a car for the time being. What did we do before the internet, when we couldn't just go online and book stuff any time? I'm trying to remember what those grim times were like... ;)

    And finally, Brit car-owning peeps on my friendslist... any recs for nice reliable small(ish) cars?
    graculus: (geek love)
    Back for the results of the blood tests and guess what? I'm perfectly healthy. Yep, except for the chronic pain/numbness/tingling in my hands and wrists and the way my feet have swollen over the past couple of weeks. Uh huh. Not anaemic, liver and kidneys working fine, thyroid in excellent condition.

    Anyway, after dropping a few unsubtle hints about my weight I got given a course of anti-inflammatories and a referral to the oedema clinic, just in case. I asked what that involved and got a shifty and evasive 'just some tests' so I expect it's not pleasant. I'm sure my weight doesn't help, but I can't see why it would affect anything quite so suddenly...

    But still, I guess it was bound to catch up with me in the end, considering I've lived a relatively sedentary life (at least for the last 15 years) and had an unseemly love of ice cream for a while now without ever troubling a set of scales. In fact, I had to actually go out and buy some. Yes, I am officially on a diet (other than the seafood diet!) for the first time in my life. *sighs* I have to say, though, I fully intend this to be the last time I mention that fact here, because you really don't want to hear me whining about salad, do you? ;)
    graculus: (Default)
    Having given serious consideration to moving doctors after I discovered my GP surgery had shifted in February without anyone actually telling me, I have to admit to a change of mind after actually attending there this morning. While the parking situation is atrocious (and it's almost 2 miles from my house, rather than the 10 minute walk or 3 minute drive of the previous surgery), there's a blood clinic on site so you don't have to troop off to the hospital for tests, which is always a pain in the mik'ta.

    Anyway, blood tests duly taken, I'm back there next week for the verdict. My hands don't seem to be worse but they're also not particularly better even on days when I don't go near the computer much, so I expect a course of anti-inflammatory meds is in my future... sadly it seems unlikely Dr. M is going to turn round and ask me if I'd like a few weeks off work. ;)

    On a brighter note, I would like to freely admit that I have become addicted to checking the ferret cam...
    graculus: (Default)
    Well, I spent a good chunk of yesterday checking and updating links for HP fic on my recs journal and website, because a bunch of people/communities have understandably locked everything down since the recent shenanigans. Which I get, but I wish people would also consider archiving somewhere that wasn't LJ so we could still pimp like the evil enablers we are... ;)

    The next job is going to be moving a chunk of source pictures for [livejournal.com profile] danielpix over from the LJ scrapbook to my website, as well as other stuff I've uploaded there along the way. [Done!] Not all of it, because I can't bring myself to go back through four years worth of posts, but I'll see how far I get before I lose the will to live.

    In other news, I just hit book #56 in my ongoing quest to feel like I'm getting something for my council tax and the current book is Gradisil by Adam Roberts, which I'm enjoying very much so far. Other than that, I've also posted some of the audiobooks I've been listening to on my commute and I freely admit to being utterly addicted to Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books - the first couple were read by Nathaniel Parker, which also helped, but it's just the whole Butler-Artemis dynamic! Other stuff I've read since my last post on this subject:

    Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke
    A Gentle Axe by R.N. Morris
    The Gardens of the Dead by William Brodrick
    Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
    The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow
    Water Touching Stone by Eliot Pattison

    Last, but not least, here's a couple of links people might find interesting...

    Bookie Monster - a book review website with a title I'm surprised nobody else came up with before.

    Joe Abercrombie - entertaining blog written by the author of the excellent The Blade Itself (read it!) and its sequels, where he whines a lot about mean critics! ;)

    Smart Bitches, Trashy Books - I don't read their genre of choice (romance novels) but I do have a liking for their turn of phrase and the immensely entertaining man-titty cover posts. Warning: you may wish to adjust your screen to account for the pinkness of the website. Second warning: they have an unhealthy liking for David Hasselhoff.
    graculus: (hiro)
    A belated thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday, which I will hunt down and respond to individually, promise! And also for the mysterious package my postie tried and failed to deliver yesterday while I was at work... no idea when I'll be able to get into town and collect it though, since next week is already looking crazy.

    Meanwhile, the ferret introductions are not going as well as could be hoped for. Initially I'd thought it was just the novelty of the thing, but Dougal has apparently decided the girls have come solely so he can play with them, whether they like it or not, which results in which ever one he's pestering screaming at him till I intervene. He's completely oblivious to their reaction and just continues on till he's picked up, then goes straight back to annoy them some more as soon as he's put down again.

    These are also quite smelly encounters as ferrets over here don't get descented and so if they get scared they will let out quite a pungent whiff - not quite skunk standards but you know it's happened. *sigh* The girls would be great if it was just them, since they're really perky and entertaining, but considering that the reason I'm adding to the number is so they can all live together at some point, it's not looking too hopeful.

    Meanwhile, in 'oh god, I'm falling apart' news, I seem to have picked up some kind of RSI variant that makes my fingers hurt. I've had an on-off lack of sensation in my 4th and 5th fingers for years, but it's now turned into an aching feeling that comes and goes during the day. Which means I have to try and get an appointment with the quack next week. Trust me to get something that's not likely to get me signed off work! :P
    graculus: (shit)
    I am not, unlike some wiser people, a compulsive backer-upper and so when I've just had to uninstall and reinstall Opera from scratch because after my computer crashed it wouldn't load at all I was extremely glad to discover that I'd exported not only the majority of my bookmarks but a relatively recent version of my rss feeds list as well. Phew.

    The only annoying factor now is that Opera has this nifty thing which remembers usernames and passwords for you and I'm going to have to work my way through everything and get them all reset. Grrr. :(
    graculus: (oh please)
    First off, can I just say how much I loathe and abhor the fact that my ISP have got into bed with both Yahell and Norton and the fact that when my firewall started playing up, I forgot the bad experience I had last time around with the 'free' Norton firewall thingy from my ISP and downloaded it anyway? And then it did the same thing that drove me crazy last time around, creating about a zillion pop-up windows whenever I tried to send email before deciding that actually it wouldn't allow my mail program to contact my ISP at all. *headdesk* I guess that's the most secure computer set-up going, an internet-ready computer that isn't allowed to communicate with the internet...

    In better news, I'm enjoying the fact I have... *counts*... just 8 days left at work before my holiday. Why yes, I am that annoying person! :) And after the world's most pointless meeting this afternoon, I'm more than ready. I'm pretty much all set as well, since everything is organised (including packing the boys off to the ferret Hilton, as usual).

    When I get back from MW (of which more anon), I'm expecting details of my impending graduation in July to be waiting for me. For which event my mother is coming to visit. Yes, a phrase that strikes fear into the hearts of anyone with a lick of sense... which means most of June is going to be spent in frantic cleaning and tidying efforts before the big day. I felt like I had to go through with it, since my not finishing my first degree meant I never got to do the whole silly hat and robes thing, and I knew she'd like it. Which she confirmed within a split second of me mentioning it, though at least she's insisting on staying at a hotel because she's a terrible insomniac and won't feel guilty about having a cup of tea at 3am that way. Or at least that's her story and I'm not arguing with it.

    Looking forward to MW immensely, as usual; I also got a pleasant surprise over the weekend when I discovered I've picked up another nomination for a FanQ. Hello to all the peeps who're also making the trek to exotic Lansing in much less time than we care to think about! ;) Bugger, that means it's time to get cracking on the door decoration...
    graculus: (coffee)
    Can we just start over, or maybe move straight on to May? Guess what, folks, I've now got toothache and I suspect that I have an abcess, to the point where the painkillers I took a little while ago do nothing for it at all. No sleep for me tonight, by the look of it, and a trip to the pharmacist for stronger meds and the emergency dentist in the morning.

    Buggeration.

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