luckykaa: (Wolf)
So, feeling borderline angry, near to the raging dragon stage, I decided we should go out. Dragged [livejournal.com profile] flickums to Didsbury Village while I fumed. First of all we went to the cheese shop. She bought me a cheese! And a chocolate lollypop! Anger meter went from almost angry to peeved. Then onto charity shops!  Flickums ogled lots of books. There were some sort of tempting things. And flickums seemed to be busily being happy, That makes me happy. Anger meter went from peeved to merely miffed fairly quickly. By the time we got to the cancer research shop, I was just feeling a little sad. This was neutralised when we got the the Cancer research shop and I bought a wine making kit. Bargain. Must have been an unwanted gift or something.

Wandered back up the other side of the road. Almost bought a copy of a Beautiful Mind. Managed to resist buying the Barbie version of A Christmas Carol... Went to the hipster pub one of many hipseter pubs in Didsbury, where they had Kwak, and other Belgian beers, as well as Cineplexity, which I was planning to taunt Flickums with but it turned out is actually kid of a fun game. Pick up two cards. They describe scenes, actors, settings and stuff. Try to think of a film that matches. Unfortunately I got trounced by flickums since she does know her stuff when it comes to movies.

I also wanted to check out The Art Of Tea. A teashop. Turns out it has a bookshop in the back. Flickums liked it, but all feels a bit expensive compared with the bargains available in the charity shops. Very untidy. Put me in mind of Aziraphale's shop in Good Omens. So we had a look in the bookshop. Flickums bought me a Morrocan mint tea. And a coffee cake. It was very nice. I was a little surprised that it had nuts in and flickums beat herself up about it because she didn't realise but it was fine.

Went home. I was feeling much happier. I made pie. Flickums made the pastry. We watched Short Circuit. It was fun, although once agan the army is inept. They need to put the dogs in charge again.

Fickums is an awesome girlfriend. Everyone should have one. She really does know how to cheer me up when I'm upset.
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
I was expecting a delivery from Ikea.

Didn't receive the expected message telling me when they were going to deliver. Realised they had the wrong number. Contacted them. Fixed it. Received a text telling me that my delivery was scheduled for the 9th Oct. Yay. Apparently there was no time slot yet. Okay. Seems a bit slow but I was satisfied that I hadn't missed any important messages.

Still no time slot on Sunday. Contacted online chat. Apparently the delivery wasn't routed in time (whatever that means), and needed to be resceduled. Well, that's fucking great. Thank's a lot, idiots. Actually tellimg me might have been useful. Pondered options for picking up but nothing seemed viable. Decided to give up. Went out. Later on, had a look at the order status (because apparently I like to torture myself) and see the message "15:19 We were not able to deliver to you. Please contact IKEA". So does that mena they did try to deliver after all? They were meant to call an hour before.

Will elave the positive aspect of the day to another post because this is the "Ikea are useless numpties" post wshere I bitch about what complete and utter useless numpties Ikea are. They are utterly inept. Hopeless and worthless.

In case anyone hasn't got the picture. I'm kinda peeved at Ikea.
luckykaa: (Literary)
An odd meme that crops up from time to time is something along the lines of "Books are better than e-readers". I guess it's not that common, but it's something that newspapers and magazines will occasionally dedicate a page to, and something that I see as a meme on facebook from time to time. For example, this one. It's one I don't quite understand.

I mean, understand why people like books more.

But why the disparagement?

Kindles are great! They're immensely portable. My Kindle 4 fits easily into a bag and can hold hundreds of books. I'm taking a train ride tomorrow and don't really want to take a bag. Not a problem. I have the app on my phone. It automatically syncs with my other devices. And I get access to the whole of project Gutenberg! For Free!

And I know books are great too! Everyone does! Everyone who has a Kindle or a nook or any of the other e-book types has them because they love to read. They have heaps of paper books. And they know they're great! The texture of the paper, the feel of turning pages, the smell. We love everything about them! The UI is great too. The remaining thickness indicates progress, flicking through to find a previous point is cool to. You can take them to book signings and get the author to autograph them! The search feature is non-existent but on the whole, it's a great format. It's been around for centuries virtually unchanged. Of course it's good.

Both have their uses. And the key thing is that they transmit stories from an author to a reader. Seems to me that what's important is reading. Not the means we use to read.
luckykaa: (Robot)
I took my car in for an MOT on the second. They needed to replace part of the suspension. They then needed to order a sodding bolt!. This bolt still hasn't arrived. The garage is crap. They never bother letting me know things are taking time. So I'm poissed off about that.

So I hired a car. Download festival was on. That added an 45 minutes or so of traffic on the M1. And the M6 was gridlocked. Holly the evil satnav got me around most of the jams, but that involved such a convoluted route that I only really saved about 20 minutes over the jam time (still better to be moving). By the time I got to the convention, I'd missed registration, opening ceremony and dinner. So that kinda sucked (although they were nice at the hotel and sorted out a sandwich and crisps and biscuits for me). Oh yeah, and my shower head came off as soon as I decided to have a shower. I don't like the Norbreck Castle hotel. It's so tatty. And so generally crap. It's like it never left the 1950's (They even have cabaret every evening. It's not very good).

I really didn't have a good time at the con. The guest talks weren't great and the sound quality in the main hall was crap. Didnt feel much of a con vibe. Plus I didn't find most of the guest talks that interesting. The Agent Carter guests were pretty good, and so were the Gotham guests. Robin Lord Taylor was absolutely lovely. The parties were okay, and it was nice chatting to people but my heart wasn't really in it. It was nive to see Ros and Nick and Kirsty and Suzy and Steve and Iain and [livejournal.com profile] xenaclone and a bundle of others, plus meeting a couple of new people was nice but I think I'd have been happier lurking in the bar chatting. Except the crappy cabaret was there.

Got a photo with Hayley Atwell. She was nice enough to do a cool pose but I think I screwed up my pose a bit. Oh well.

The autographs were at the same time as the talks. So it was a choice between autos or talks. And even though they called people up in batches, the bartches were wayyyy too long. There was a queue for the room and then 3 queues. Meant getting the autographs for whichever 3 guests were digning took forever. I got fed up waiting so gave up (The two guys I met were very nice though). On the whole I don't think I got my money's worth.

Woke up Monday morning and had no power in bmy room. On the drive home. M6 was clogged again. Holly took me around it again so I only had to deal with minor traffic. But then it turned out the M1 was closed. Apparenty someone on a gantry refusing to come down.

So really not all that happy. It's been expensive, spent too long in traffic, and I feel I've wasted a weekend.
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Wow, it's been a while since my last update... These are the entries I didn't post.

The one about Christmas. Not a terrible haul. I received (in addition to the lovely gifts froma lovely flickums) a set of FATE cards, (for the fate RPG), Kill Dr. Lucky - the card game, some socks, some beer - lots of beer - and some soapy type stuff.

Have transferred almost all of my junk from storage to flat. That was a tiring weekend. I hired a van, and drove all the way to Brighton before finding that I actually needed a bigger van. So I drove home and drove all the way to Brighton and back again. At least I had a helpful brother to assist. And it should save me a few quid. It really wasn't worth paying the storage fee, except that a lot of this stuff had sentimental value. I still have a lot of things that I ought to dispose of somehow but a lot of it is printed media. I find it really hard to get rid of that. Throwing it out feels like destroying knowledge. Anyone want a huge collection of SFX magazines and Beano comic libraries from the 1980's?

One of the items was a bike. I've now got that in a roadworthy condition. It takes about as long to cycle to work as to drive and I don't need to defrost my bike in the morning.

In other news, someone other than me tried to use my debit card to buy a PS4. I received a suspicious looking text from the bank so rang them up. Turned out that it genuinely was from my bank, and there were a bunch of other purchases, that I didn't make. Bank was nice about it though, cancelled the card, and blocked the orders. Also got a phone call from Tesco Direct (which is how I know it was a PS4 that was ordered) saying that it was flagged as suspicious. Shame really I'd just managed to memorize my Debit card number.

So that's the last few weeks caught up.
luckykaa: (Travel)
I received an email offering "Black Friday" bargains on flights. Which is silly! Black Friday is an American thing, because Americans want to get their christmas shopping started early or something. We don't have a 4 day weekend, and it makes no sense to offer a discount on flights anyway!

But Victor Meldew stuff over, I really want to fly somewhere! Somewhere in the southern hemisphere or at least near the equator! New Zealand looks very appealing right now. Or maybe Rio De Janiero! Jakarta perhaps? Cuba remains fairly warm at this time of year. I have enough avios points for a return flight to Tenerife!

Looking out the window and seeing dark gloomy night, all I want is some sun! Preferably high enough not to be shining right in my face.

I just can't really afford the holiday or the time off right now.

Kafkasoft

Nov. 17th, 2015 06:22 pm
luckykaa: (Robot)
I thought I'd have a look at the microsoft online store. I was hoping to be able to find a podcast reader.

It wanted a microsoft account. Apparently I already had one. I tried the password I use for accounts that contain no useful information. Apparently none of them work. I tried resetting it. Apparently my usual password had already been used and I couldn't re-use it. So I tried logging in with that password again, and possible variations. They didn't work.

Then I tried clicking on the link that seemed to suggest it would delete the whol account. Seemed like a nice idea. That would mean I could restart from scratch.This may have been a mistake. It didn't delete it anyway.

I tried resetting the password again. Rather than sending another link, it demanded another email address anbd then sent me a form. This form required information like the last 5 email subjects I'd sent (I've never sent any through the server), my XBox user ID (I don't have one) and a bunch of other info they can't possibly have, plus my date of birth and a postcode.I gave them all the information they could possibly have. Apparently that's not enough to identify mTe. I'd have thought name, DoB and postcode plus email address would convince most people but apparently not.

I created a new account with my google email address. and tried to use that to download the app. "There's a problem at our end" apparently. Great.

Meanwhile I tried to find an email address so I could get a human being. Eventually, after much hunting, I found a contact us form. The response I got was a link to a message sent to my locked account. I sent another contact, this time specifying the new account. They actually did send that to my email address. They didn't tell me anything remotely different or useful. So I sent a Data Protection Request. Mainly to see how they respond to that. If they want information then they can damn well tell me the information they want!
luckykaa: (Wolf)
I tried selling my bike today.

I was a little annoyed that the receipt had vanished even though I had kept it around for most of the last year. Still the guy remembered me. And while he was willing to offer me money for the bike strongly discouraged me from accepting it. Which was nice of him, I guess.

His suggestion was that I take it to the park and sit there with it and a for sale sign. Seems fair. Hope the eather's nice tomorrow.

I still have a flat screen TV to shift. It's a little too good to just abandon but ther seems to be no interest on Craigslist and there don't seem to be a lot of second hand shops around. I don't really care about the money although I do have an aversion to giving my landlady too many freebies. She's got a couple  of pots and pans and a good knife and a set of scales.

Aside from that I've spent a lot of the day cleaning. God, what a bore! Still, the bathroom is clean except the floor. The kitchen is clean except the sink area nad oven. The living room os clean except the table and skirting boards and the bedroom is clean. The rest can be done over the course of the week.

Moving out is such a chore!
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, I've seen quite a few articles saying Muslims are X, but whether X is positive or negative, they all disturb me a little because they all seem to make this same mistake of stereotyping a whole group of people, based on a single aspect, and saying they're all the same.

I rather prefer one from a local newspaper a decade ago. The message here is Muslims are normal.

And just like anyone else, terrible people, like Anders Breivik and the Charlie Hebdo attackers, and there are decent people, like 99.9% of the rest of the world.
luckykaa: (Robot)
I know shirtstorm is news, but it's been really infuriating me.

Bullying has always been an issue I'm passionate about. I identify with those who speak out and campaign against it. Yet this week, because of a shirt, a mob formed. Hundreds of people weighed in to criticise someones choice of clothing. Telling him he's the reason women aren't going into STEM; that he's a sexist pigdog, that anyone who wears a shirt like this is a sexist pig. Over a shirt! Over what he was wearing. I mean sure, he probably should have been a little more circumspect. Hey, he probably should have covered those tattoos as well since not everyone likes them. He didn't. It was a fairly minor mistake and he didn't deserve the abuse.

Matt Taylor made a mistake. He apologised. The apology was accepted. Those who harrassed him also made a mistake. They are yet to recognise they have even made a mistake. Outside of the small echo chamber that's defending this hrassment, I see comment where people are ashamed to be associated with feminism.

As far as I can see, this is ganging up. I checked the people who are usually socially aware of bullying. A lot of them not only weren't critical of the mob. They were actively joining in! When people say "hey, this is bullying" tweets were disected and analysed and the bullies decided, that what they were doing wasn't bullying. Not one of them even considered the possibility that perhaps this was an overreaction.

When you gang up under a banner and collectively harass a guy over what he wears, then it is bullying. When you drive a man to tears, then it's bullying. The bullies aren't the ones who get to decide what bullying is.

I tried adressing this with other people. My complaints are dimissed.

This is bullying plain and simple, and the worst thing is, it's been defended by those who usually take a stand against bullying. This is the worst kind of hypocrisy. These people have formed a morality police, telling people what they may and may not be offended by. Well, I reject your assessment. This offends me, but the hypocrisy offends me more. Anyone who defends the haters digusts me.
luckykaa: (Robot)
Several years ago I bought myself a Sansa Fuze. It was a lovely device with a couple of idiosyncrasies (takes a long time to index and has a non-standard connector). But it was very easy to use and just felt nice.

Yesterday I lost it. My jacket was on a bench in a bar, and it fell out.

I sent a message to the group. Apparently a waiter picked it up when everyone else left, and asked if it belonged to anyone, and everyone said "no". So, full of hope I stopped in hoping that they had a lost property box.

They did have a lost property box. And a book swhere they log everythng that was found. They didn't have the mp3 player. No idea what happened to it.

Am rather upset. I get attached to my gadgets, and I've had this one for a while.I can use my phone as a temporary replacement but I find that deeply unsatisfying. And you can't buy the Sansa Fuze any more. Or its replacement - the fuze+. The Clip+ is sort of cute but the screen looks a litte too small. The Clip sport might be what I want. I'll miss that handly little scroll wheel.

I'm sure I'll enjoy it still. And I've ordered a whopping 32GB SD card for it. It's time for a new era of gadget ownership.

It will be a thrill when it arrives. But until then I'm mourning the loss of one of my favourite toys.
luckykaa: (Robot)
All I want to do is transfer some money from my account to another account. It's all EU stuff. Should be easy enough. I need this for a rent deposit.

So, decide to do a bank transfer. Pretty reliable generally. Takes a working day to Eurozone countries. Great! That means we'll be done by Tuesday. Landlord gives me his IBAN number. Go onto online payments. Click on "I don't have the SWIFT code. Apparently if I'm transferring to Germany, I need the SWIFT code. Ask landlord for SWIFT code. Get it by end of day.

Log onto online banking. Enter the SWIFT code. isn't accepted. Thanks, Lloyds. Later experimentation showed that a SWIFT code that I'd successfully used before didn't work either. For that matter, nor did Lloyds' SWIFT code.

So, I call my parents. They have plenty of cash kicking about, and they'll be happy to sort this out for me. Except they aren't really all that good with computers. Dad insists that his online banking only allows him to move money between his own accounts (don't believe him), and mum did her best but didn't seem to be able to find a way to pay in Euros.

Thought about using an online service. Some of these are rather good and all you need to do is give a debit card number. All well and good, but they need me to send proof I am who I claim to be (Money laundering regulations). I don't have access to a scanner right now, and I don't think I have access to a bank statement.

My brain hurts.
luckykaa: (Robot)
My internet connection has failed on the 12 July, the 1th August, and the 12th of October (not sure what happened on the 12th September). This month it seems to have failed 2 days early. And this always seems to keep happening on Fridays. The ISP is closed for the weekend.

I find this very frustrating. There's a limit to how much I feel comfortable leeching off my neighbours.

What's even more annoying - I have a PAYG dongle. I was getting inexplicably free access with that but it wasn't going to last, so I tried paying for a recharge. My card was refused. Contacted the bank. Got through to the lost cards section and was transferred to a new voicemail system that had nothing to do with what I wanted. Tried again. The lost card section was the one I wanted.

Apparently my address is wrong. I didn't give them my address! But my bank can't deal with that.

I then tried to use roaming internet. This is expensive but I can afford 2 quid for a day's frugal internet use. Worked for about an hour. Now that's not working either.
luckykaa: (Robot)
I'll be fine after a good night's sleep, but it's been an irritating tiring day, and I'm just going to have to be irritated for the rest of the evening.  All first world problems.  Doesn't stop them from irritating, so shall new rant.

Started off okay.  Until I got stuck in traffic.  There's always a bit on a Monday morning, but enough to add 50 minutes to my journey is very tedious. 

Agent is constantly harassing me about this contract. Yeah, sorry I can't rush things while working at a full time job.  Still, have decided on an umbrella company.  Probably not the best deal, but declaring that I work for a Bulgaria of Gibraltar based company and I'm just being deployed to Belgium tends to go against my innate honesty.  Of course it's all "compliant" with the law, but seriously, this does seem kinda shady.  That, and my vague sense of social justice tells me that taxes are actually a social benefit.  Taking advantage of what a country has to offer sort of suggests an obligation to give back.  Seems I'm about the only person who actually thinks that way.  Maybe I'm an idiot. 

Needed to get code doing what I actually wanted it to do rather than what colleague made it do.  Managed the main part of it but the levels of abstraction drive me nuts.  Piles of code that does next to nothing, apparently out of a desire to make it maintainable and adaptable. Except it isn't. 

Was sent an email telling me I need to renew my TV licence.  Except that will give me a week's TV viewing before I leave.  Perhaps I shouldn't actually bother with that.  Disconnect TiVo. That will mean dealing with TVL though, which is itself a hassle.

Too much noise in the office.  No idea whether I'm going to Bristol next week, and I like to be able to plan ahead.  Also would like to actually get this final working version in Bristol and doing what we want.
luckykaa: (Default)
I do find my colleagues pretty tedious after a while.

Project manager talks about work all the time.  And he does like to talk.  Other programmer I find a little dull and sort of sexist. Lead programmer is fine, but a little quiet.  I can cope with that. 

Trouble with all staying in the same hotel is that there's a sort of obligation to eat together and travel in together.  I rather like my private cocoon of solitude on the way home.  Also like having control over when I travel. Still, there's no real obligation to share.  I just need to find an excuse that's better than "You all irritate me".

All I want to do is grab some food quickly (possibly listening to an audiobook) and then retire to my room to read. 

Or possibly to visit friends. 

grumble...

I prefer a much more friendly class of hotel.  If I could arrange my own accommodation, I'd be able to manage somewhere a lot better.  Somewhere that cooks breakfast to order, and has free wi-fi (although internet on a stick is so cheap these days I wonder how they can make any money at all).  To be fair though, I can have a few things to order, and this morning's pancakes were very tasty.

Need to find a better way to get from the City Centre to Bristol Business park. 

Also need to get out more.  I'm apparently here for 3 weeks after all. 

Anyone do gaming (of any sort) in Bristol these days?

Anyone? 
luckykaa: (Robot)
Amazon customer reviews make me terrified of buying anything!

I'm looking for a food processor for my parents.   Theaverage review is useless to me because the score depends on how useful the customer found it, not how good it it.  So I look at the actual comments.  I tend to look at the top rated reviews and the low scoring reviews.

On one hand you have the comments "This is an amazing device, since buying it I have found cooking a delight, I've managed to become the worlds greatest chef and have started to make serious inroads into world hunger" and on the other you have "This is a terrible decvice.  the blades jammed when i tried making breadcrumbs, I used it once an d a crack appeared.  The second time I used it it caused a nuclear meltdown and now the entire area for 30 miles is uninhabitable".

It bemuses me that some people have such troubles with a device that others seem to find so great.  What are the 1-star raters doing wrong?
luckykaa: (Default)

Social life.  It's tricky to get that right. 

On the whole, I'm often quite happy to have plenty of "me time".  I've always been an introvert, and enjoy my own company.  Not too much though.  I suffer from loneliness just like anyone else.  So I need to spend time with friends.  This requires a certain amount of effort.  Working away from home 5 days a week means I actually need remind people I exist from time to time. 

So that means planning.  Planning is hard.  I never know what I'm going to be in the mood for several days ahead.  Nor do I know who's going to be around.  I've been pretty rubbish at planning the past few weeks.  Last week I saw nobody except the couple of people who turned up to B&B7 (splendid chaps, both of them, bit was hoping for more of a crowd) and spent Saturday and Sunday on my own.  This week, I was determined that I'd not have another week like that.  Contacted a bunch of people.  Got a bunch of responses.  Everyone was busy.  Texted other friends, assuming there would be a similar response rate.  Facebook then starts to fill up with planned events.  Suddenly I have half a dozen things I can choose to do.

Need to work on balancing this stuff. 

Will have to see who's around next weekend. See if I can get exactly the right number of things to do.  Since I have no idea who is around, whether the Pony fan club are planning to hang out in Brighton, or what else might be happening, I guess I'll have to be flexible.
luckykaa: (Default)
So, still not doing anything worthwhile in the evenings.  Actually it's been such a long week.  Lots of late evenings.  On the upside that means I can justify getting out at ludicrously early tomorrow and heading home before the traffic gets insane. 

But this is a problem I have.  I hated permanent jobs.  I'm broadly a lot happier not dealing with performance reviews and people telling me about my career.  The trouble is that I'm always so far away from home and from friends and family.  I get a bit lonely.  And I'm way to tired to do anything about it.  I need a hobby but actually supporting that sort of thing is pretty difficult if there's an actual regular commitment, since I will form time to time have to stay late.  And sometimes I really can't face people. 

So I guess I'm just rubbish at this life malarky.

To be fair to myself, I did manage to see a friend in London last week.  I did do plenty of social stuff last weekend.  I just feel I should do more with my time. 
luckykaa: (Robot)

This is just a long whinge. 

So, this week, I finally managed to get through to Circus Space while they were actually answering the phone, but by the time I got managed all the classes were sold out.  Seem to have missed out on the gorilla circus one day things as well.The awesome purple DMs that I'm sure I saw and wanted for my birthday don't seem to have ever existed any more.  All a bit diappointing.

Really not happy with how my.Nano rewrite is going.  It's better.  I've worked out what the problem is with my dialogue. Now I need to address the suiddenly quite glaring issues with a complete absence of any character in my minor characters.  Seems that everyone my main character meets is a bored bureucrat.  And my heart's no in it.  I should probably take a break and focus on something else.  It's only a hobby.  Why is it becoming a chore?  I feel guilty if I don't spend a lot of time reading as well.  I really can't work out why.  Do I need to justify the investment?  Is it that I identify as a sci-fi geek and feel I should want to?  Why can't I just sit and enjoy these books when I feel like it?

My concern rhere is that I allow myself to stagnate the four evenings a week I'm away.  I spend way too much time surfing the net and arguing with idiots on reddit.  Writing is an actual hobby that I feel is self-improving.  I want to go out and do something and I can't find anything in Welwyn that appeals.  Hell, I should go and visit friends in the vicinity.  They're not too far away. 

Pah!  I'm just rubbish at this life malarky.  I should have a great one but I have no idea how to use it.

luckykaa: (Default)
So, after chronic absent mindedness, I finally get round to booking that trapeze course.  I was hopoing to do it online but they only do telephone bookings.  I discovered this at 10:30 one evening so felt it was too late.  Monday I was too sleep deprived to remember anything.  Tuesday I was busy.  So I call.

"Your calling credit is running low"

72p might be cutting things a bit close.  So onto the Vodafone website.  Get as far as the security for my card.  It gives a somewhat muddled error that tells me both that I didn't provide correct information and that the service is unavailable at this time and I should try again later.  Or their error handling wasn't expecting this particular issue.  Try another couple of times.  Give up and call. 

I hate automated telephone systems.  They insist on referring to themselves as "I".  It is not a person. It is a machine.  It is not at all sorry.  But eventually I type all my detail in and it does "get" it.

So all this is doen. I get a recorded messge.  "Office hours are 10am to 8:30pm Monday to Thursday..." 

IT'S 7:55PM!!!! 

Perhaps somebody is telling me I don't want to do this.

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