Well, I’ve actually had a fairly good day so far….

….not to make any promises for the rest of it.

I’ve done both the company and the personal tax forms, I’ve sorted out various bills ‘n’ things, I’ve got my copy of ‘The Snapper’ (woo!), the third, I think, in the Barrytown trilogy.

Unfortunately, The Van is not available on DVD, at all, except in German in Germany. Why the German DVD lacks the English language version I’m not sure. Annoyingly, the french version which does have the english language soundtrack…. I can’t tell, but someone has suggested that it has the French subtitles *on*, which’d be incredibly annoyng.

Anyway, I must away to the post office…. then to a lecture, then to a photocopier, then home, then jogging, then rowing, then listening to H2G2, then watching my new DVD…. Then shower, then bed :-)

Introspection of my accounts

There’s something deeply wrong about going from “Bacchanale de Samson et Dalila” (Saint Saens) to Bill Haley and the Comets (Rock Around the Clock!), but I guess if you have a playlist consisting of all your CDs in alphabetical order then what can you expect? Of course, the cymbals in Bill Haley sound shite. Grr.

Anyway, taking a quick break from my Self Assessment form (needs to be in day after tomorrow!); yet again we’re going through the same process as last year:

  • Phase 1: Fear and alarm.

    During this phase I stare at the envelopes and wish that they didn’t exist, I wait until the last possible moment to deal with the contents (having checked the date for return)
  • Phase 2: Gathering Items and False Understanding

    During this phase I gather together the huge vast piles of details relating to my nearly ex-business, my rather more organised personal accounts, find the P60 that’s been dropped behind the desk, put on a record and make a cup of tea. Then I sit down with the form and….
  • Phase 3: Frustration and Anger

    Now we get to the meat of the situation, I yelp, I flick hopelessly through pages and pages of documentation trying to find numbers I don’t really understand, guessing, stabbing in the dark and praying that I’m getting the right numbers. I wail, and bemoan my unfortunate disaster of ending up with these damn forms to full in
  • Phase 4: Actually getting somewhere

    After a while of this I suddenly grasp how to do the basic bits, and fly through the forms in a few short hours….except
  • Phase 5: The bits no-one understands

    So I get stuck, ring the Inland Revenue who pass me from person to person who doesn’t understand their own forms, leading me to wonder how in hell I’m meant to fill them in. Eventually they tell me what to do (which is usually different to whatever I was told to do last time I rang); leaving me with the vague idea that it’s all just guess work
  • Phase 6: Signature and Prayer

    Then I sign the bit that says “This is true as far as I know” and stick it all in an envelope…..thinking “well, I think it’s correct”

I can actually leap from Phase 5 back to Phase 2….. unsuprisingly.

Well, I think it’s correct so far, I’ve done what they said. That’s the best I can say; that I’ve done exactly what they said. I can’t wait to shut Regolith and forget all this bloody nonsense, but I’ll still have to do one next year. Which is terrifying.

Anyway, best get back to it and finish it off.

Advice for bathers

When taking a ‘long hot bath’ it is advisable to ensure that there is in fact warm water, and not just ‘sufficent water to fill the bath’. This is because post-submersion you may wish to cause an increase in the temperature of the surrounding water. Should you have failed to ensure the presence of hot water you may find your ‘long hot bath’ being rapidly curtailed after becoming a rather short cold bath.


I can’t see a bloody thing

For reasons that escape me, my current set of contact lenses don’t seem to work very well. The left one, in particular, seems to fail to allow me to focus on anything. They are the right prescription….I’m hoping that one more day and I’ll get used to them, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to ring SpecSavers and say “oi, what is going on….” Grr….

It at least explains my headaches the past few days.

It’s an ipaq, not a brick!

For the last oooh, year or so, my iPaq has sat untouched, after a failed partial install of Opie. Now, Opie is all very well and good, but if you can’t transfer data to or from it, and the network connection absolutely refuses to work then you are, shall we say, a bit screwed.

You’re even more screwed when you forget the password.

Now, I’ve been looking at putting PocketPC back on the iPaq, purely ‘cos I want GPS. And GPS doesn’t happen under linux. At least, not as far as I can see (okay, I can connect a GPS and it can go “I can detect satellites”, but route planning software that does the following the car on the ground thing seems rather scarce). So, been looking at how to do that. Especially considering my backup of the original system seems to have somewhat gone walkies.

But lo, today, by sheer fluke I guessed the root password on the iPaq, which should make things a hell of a lot easier. Now, it’s just a case of getting the damn thing installed; of course, given the absence of a GPS from my life at this point, I may just fix the Opie install (or indeed stick a new Opie install on there, if there’s software that’ll allow me to transfer music and stuff across more easily).

A pig has shat in my head.

So, I feel crap. I felt crap when I went to bed last night (with a lousy headache), and this morning I woke up to discover that I’d failed to set the alarm clock to alarm (I’d set the time but not switched the alarm on). And now I feel like a pig has shat in my head. I’m fuzzy and headachey and gneereally feeling crap. Not really really headachey, definately a headache though, more that I just feel tired and grotty.

Which is annoying.

However, I’ve been working a fair bit. Stuggled yesterday; was reading about cancer etc, and ‘dying trajectories’, and it was making me struggle a bit, but the lecture was okay in the end. Didn’t get much extra work done, but still, not so bad…..

Am edging closer to ending up with a SII minor, which is bad. Although I can think of people who might want it once it’s made roadworthy. I dunno, we’ll see…

Mostly I’m just feeling a bit tired and grotty… and starting work on selling off / disposing of crap. The Underwood No. 5 is the first to be auctioned, sadly.


I’m so tired

I don’t know what to do,
I’m so tired….

I should have gone to bed at a sensible time last night rather than staying up to chat to friends and redo a smaller version of one of the videos. I’ve not got 2-pass Xvid encoding working yet, but 1-pass XVid is definately working now.

Hence the 30Mb new video, not the 70 Mb new video.

However, I’m still painfully tired. Of course, getting up early to do rowing won’t have helped with that. I’d really like to go back to bed, but I need to do some work (toherwise I’ll feel bad). Of course the dismal grey day and drizzley rain, that’s not helping.

So tired…

Probably going to buy a D.A.B. tuner today so I can listen to the wonderful, wonderful, oojamaflip. Hitchhiker. Yeah.


And now I shall go and work. Or try to. Yeah. Want to sleep though. Would much prefer to sleep.

It’s not often I say this

Thank fuck for the NHS. Well, more for Europe.

I’ve heard people attempt to argue that healthcare is cheaper in ‘merkia, or better. I’ve seen the figures and the research….and it’s not, it’s *way* more expensive. But anyway, what’s the use of fantastic facilities if you can’t afford to get health cover.

I suspect with my family history (High blood pressure (grandparents, mum, sister), frequent occurance of cancer, grandparents on both sides have had ‘heart attacks ‘) – I’d be such a risk factor as to make getting health insurance bloody difficult. That plus major surgery at the age of 21, and a continuous requirement for medication…. Ha! They’d laugh me out of their medical examination….

I had this vague impression that there was some basic level of health care available in America, if you couldn’t afford health insurance, I’d never realised quite how limited it was…..

….people, me included, whinge about the NHS an awful lot, but as I recall it’s about the cheapest healthcare system in westernised countries….

….this is what comes of doing too much work. You read scary things about other places. Gah.

Actually, this is because a friend is moving to America, and I was bored….looking at the stuff about the election….followed a random link, and. Well. There you go.

I promise to try to be more grateful to the NHS in future.

Not monday morning, nor 9:15



Mmm, in uni, should really be working, but there’s only half an hour until my lecture (well, 25 minutes) and I lightened my bag by whipping the stuff out of it which I would normally study; largely because I’m planning to do studying at home.

For some reason I was incredibly slow to get going this morning and so, spent half the morning running round like some deranged maniac trying to get food made, uni stuff sorted, dressed, showered and ready to go (not necessarily in that order ;-)

Something is lurking in the corner of my mind…

…oh aye, the not normally nationalistic thing.

Yeah, I used to think I was completely un-nationalistic. Not in that “we are better than every other country way” (I’m still not), but in that I don’t really mind where I live not really particularly proud of Britain specifically kind of way. Perhaps coming from my background explains that, my mum and her family saw the other side of the empire rather too closely for a huge and emense bond to form between my mum and Britishness.

And then, a few days ago, circumstances conspired and I suddenly realised that I was actually really quite defensive about Britain. People slagging off Britain winds me up – and I’d never really noticed.

So, yeah, some of my favourite things about where I live…

  • Invention & Ingenuity. We’ve got a long history of invention and ingenuity, and as long as we include all of Britain (i.e. N.Ireland, Scotland and Wales) then we’ve got an awful lot of really bloody good inventions attributable to us (especially given the size of our population). Apparently, even the uniquely american V8 was invented by a Scot…. Unfortuantly we can’t claim the 2 stroke as ours… which is most distressing, because the only V8 I like is Russian, whereas I love two strokes… :-)
  • Tolerance. Britain’s incredibly tolerant, actually, of deviations from normal. Oddly it seems to work the other way round from how you’d expect, in the abstract Britain seems to be incredibly intolerant (if you look at popular media, especially the daily mail), but in person it’s not really the case at all.
  • Food. British food has a sucky reputation, but actually some of it’s bloody nice, but it’s not just that we do have an incredible range of foods available. I was once told there are something like 50 nationalities of take-away in some small area of bristol; isn’t that fabulous?
  • The BBC (and Channel 4). Do I need to say any more than that? Doesn’t everyone love them? Although, to be fair, I’ve been watching a lot of merkian imports recently (The L Word, Joan of Arcadia, Dead Like Me)
  • The countryside. It’s just beautiful; I love the highlands in Scotland, I love the mountains of the Lake and Peak district. It’s just my country…… Other places are incredibly beautiful, I love the Irish landscape, and the beauty of Sri Lanka still resides inside my head, but this is my home, and I just love it :-)

So, folks…. tell me what you love about your home…. Or where you want your home to be…. or whatever. Heh.