Home again

So, I’m all interviewed. I think it went okay, hopefully I should hear today whether I’ve got the job(s) – there are apparently some temporary contracts going – which leads me to an interesting question – do I go for a temporary job in the ED? I suspect I do – depending on how long ‘temporary’ is.

I read my comments from my mentors, and tried to remember that I’m a damn good nurse, at least some of the time. And I stumbled my way through the interview and at least looked conceivably like I knew about policy.

I hope it was enough. I guess I find out soon. I should (and will be) tidying shortly. But at the moment I’m sitting mulling and trying to distract myself from the thought processes about the interview. I hope I came across well.

So, in the name of distracting myself – this movie (in seven parts) looks really interesting. It’s the kind of thing I’d’ve loved to be involved in, but I doubt I have the skill yet. I need more practice. Hey! Nikki! How’s my song coming along?! James! Any luck with the models? :-)

Heh.

And it’s raining; not consistently hard rain, but irritating rain – enough that I’ve not yet headed out to remove the wheel from my motorbike, which I really should get on with. Yeah.

Speaking too soon.

So, I said that Brick seemed happy. Yeah? Well, Brick decided Brick wasn’t happy. Fortunately, Kathryn gave him a virtual talking to and he made it to Work and back, although I’d not describe the ride as ‘smooth’.

The engine would run for a bit then lose power, and then suddenly kick back in. Pulling the choke out all the way more or less made this dealable with – smoothing it out – but we lacked power. Then it suddenly cured itself and I got to work just fine. I wondered if the piece of crap I suspected of blocking the fuel feed (specifically the main jet) had disintegrated and been sucked through… Especially since no amount of encouragement seemed to make the problem come back.

But when I came out from a *long* day at work (you know, I was so keen to do my drugs assessment, now I spend my entire bloody day giving drugs) and the problem reasserted itself with vigour. And then disappeared part way down the M25. I encouraged myself to go to Halfords and got a new fuel filter for the car (“The Viva doesn’t list a fuel filter” *sigh* “Yes, I know, what I’m after is just a generic fuel filter that I can slap inline” “Well, here’s our range, but I don’t know if any of them are ‘inline'” [opens box. Oh, look, an inline filter. Buys it. Is reminded how crap Halfrauds is]) and despite every bone, muscle and tendon in my body demanding sleep I dragged myself outside and stripped the carb down. Inside the main jet was what I will call a HUGE LUMP OF CRAP. I am astounded the car got me home and didn’t up and die on the motorway. Kudos to the Brick.

Having blown it out, I reassembled the carb – and I *think* things are better. The new fuel filter will hopefully present that reoccurring. I’ve left some tools in the boot though, in preparation for the long trip coming up tomorrow.

I then came in and watched LoM, and that last episode, fucking *fantastic*. Unexpected, twisty, tricksy little writers they are. I shan’t say anymore ‘cos I don’t want to spoil anyone elses viewing experience, but seriously, Life On Mars has got to be one of the best written modern tv series in the history of television. It’s such a clever concept implemented so well, written so well. I love it unreservedly. It’s only a shame I didn’t get any of my cars to feature in it :-)
Unfortunately, while I settled down to watch LoM something became apparent, my amplifier which has served me since about 13 years ago (apart from a break when…this fault occurred before about 12 years ago – it’s never been quite right since) is sick. From what was replaced last time I recall that it’s the power transistors and some other smaller ones which failed. I don’t think I’ll get it repaired this time though. I love it, but it can’t come to Canada, and I’ve been wanting one with a smoother range – mine is 200 Watts per channel (alledgedly) and does not do “quiet”. My problem is I’ll have to source a pre-amp for my record deck now – and a new amp, I guess, although the ex-kitchen Denon one can do temporary service in the lounge for a while. Not sure what I’ll do about a new amp, it’s not something I can remotely afford at the moment :(

Weekendly Updatitude.

So, I actually had a weekend off, which is quite weird, and I’ve spent it doing things which are fun/dubious/entertaining. First up, after a day at work which was less fun than it could’ve been, and actually invoked my ‘pissed off’ state – which I posted about here, James headed round and we went off to see his play.

Yep, his play. James has written loads over the years I’ve known him, and I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of it; I’m a big fan of his writing… But this is the first time I’ve seen a play of his. A short play, one act, but a good one. Yeah, I’m not good at reviewing things, so I shan’t try. Suffice to say I was impressed. It was part of the Windsor Arts Centre short-play competition, which is apparently bi-annual and run with the writer’s group. It was really a thoroughly enjoyable evening – reminding me how much I used to love going to the theatre, and just the act of going *out* – although it did take me about an hour to decide what level of neat I was going for and to find a combination of clothing that I declared suitable. Which was funny, ‘cos I wore the jumper the whole time…
Unfortunately, by the time the after-party occurred I had reached a stage of phenomenally tired. So, while James socialised I sat on a chair in the corner and endeavoured not to fall asleep. ‘m glad I didn’t drink any alcohol though; there was a distinct alcohol drinking urge, it being a pleasant evening out and the faint urge to have a glass of wine was there, but I resisted, knowing I was going to be asleep if I did. The one pissy bit was some incredibly irritating people behind us laughing, talking and generally being annoying through, well, the whole show – but particularly through James’ play. Mainly, I suspect, because the actor who they’d come to ‘support’ wasn’t in it.

How do you deal with that? I just wanted to turn round and tell them to shut up, but I didn’t want to make it worse, and nor did I want to make a scene in the middle of James’ play.

Anyway. So we headed back to mine, the icy temperatures waking me up somewhat, so a long evening of chatting was had and having done battle with the camp-bed, and warmed up the bedroom (cheapskate that I am, James got to sleep on the camp bed at the foot of my bed so I only had to heat one room) I slept like a baby (that phrase is odd, because babies, in general, seem to wake up a lot during the night).

Saturday came around and having, uh, talked really our way through the morning we decided to do a little bit of urbexing. All of 30 seconds of research and we had a site within walking distance. I need to process some photos, they’re not very good – although there’s a few arty ones; James with his nice zoom managed to get some rather better shots which actually look like we were inside the building (but we weren’t – although there is a way in, it’s not a safe way in, and I value my registration too much. It was very frustrating though, because we could see the inside through the grilles on the windows, but couldn’t really get decent shots of it). At any rate, they need some processing (mine) before they’re let out in the open, so you’ll have to wait for ’em. As a side point, it appears James (and therefore some others of you) may not have seen the Bristol North Pool shots – so here’s the links again: Gallery 1, Gallery 2.

Anyway, having frozen our peripheries off, we headed back stopping briefly for me to collect a bin – free of charge, of course – which is now my Kitchen bin. Ra.

We then had Pizza, a quick run to Tesco provided us with both Baileys *and* ice cubes, which combined to make a very chilled out evening. We watched Children of Men, which is a *really bloody good film*, and should have done much better. And actually, people should be made to watch our dystopian future. I also found my copy of Threads, should I ever want to depress myself thoroughly again.

Another late evening of chatting and gently consuming alcohol was then followed by a rather pleasant night’s sleep which – despite us both waking up early was another day largely spent talking, playing with the eyeToy games, and me hunting for Rez – ‘cos James’s never seen it in action (though I wasn’t planning on showing the accessory to him ;-) ). Sadly I cant’ find it, whilst I’m certain it is in the house, more than that, that I’ve *seen* it, I can’t work out where it landed up. I thought I’d brought it down to be with the other playstation games. But apparently not. I do now, though, need to find it :-)

At any rate, we chilled out and I fleshed out an idea for a Maker article I’m thinking of writing (yes, really); it’s actually something that *could* be a product – but frankly, it seems like too much effort. But making a one off one, that could be good. Can you copyright a design – but allow people to make it in a not-for-profit way? Only whilst I’m really happy for everyone to make their own, I’d be pissed if some company picked up on it and started making it. Anyone know?

Anyway, we made curry, sat down and watched Ultraviolet – which I still reckon is an okay film. Not brilliant, but pretty and moderately entertaining – although obviously that is assisted by the presence on screen of our Milla.

And finally, after James headed home, I did something almost unprecedented. I rang my sister, and just had a chat. I don’t know why, I just felt the urge, and did so. So that’s been my weekend, how’s yours been?

I’ve promised myself I’ll finish off some work before I get down to editing those images, but I decided to let myself actually enjoy the weekend off.

Reading, writing and arithmatic

So, yeah. Um. Been a couple of weary days; Xmas shopping is complete, Xmas wrapping is not started. Cards to go to the states, still not sent. Absence of local post office. I take that back, apparently there’s one about 10 minutes walk away – but I haven’t seen it. I am, however, reknown for missing things. So uh, Xmas cards will be somewhat late this year.

Mostly, though, I’ve been desparately ploughing through work in the lounge, attempting to reach completion; having no rooms to outright relax in is quite tiring – although it’s driving forward the lounge project at some rate. Today I started slapping white matt onto the walls of the lounge, which should help make the rather nicer Dulux red and off-white-brown really vibrant. I have also thrown concrete into the fireplace to raise the level of the hearth at the back to the same as that at the front; it needs a bit of self-leveling compound I suspect to get it completely level, but it’s certainly nearly there – and should be ready by tomorrow afternoon.

I’m moderately certain I’m boring you all witless. Thanks to A. H. Contractors statement that you have to pay by Cash or pay VAT I’ve ended up paying *even more* for what is quite frankly really and truly shonky workmanship. Much, much filling, sanding and more filling, and more sanding, and more filling and yet *more* sanding and the finish is still no-where near as good as the work my (far more honest, far more decent) plasterer did the first time. So he’s hopefully going to be coming back to do the renovations in the kitchen.

In other news I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time listening to Frontline Assembly’s track: Providence. You should go listen. James provided me with the linkage… I’ve also spent an inordinate amount of time laptop in hand reading the free PDF of Rick Dakan’s book Geek Mafia. It somehow reminds me of Hiaasen’s work; and is a compelling and entertaining read. The PDF is nicely produced, although there are some real stinkers of the typographical error variety in there :-)

I really rather fancy owning a dead tree copy (not least because you can’t easily curl up with a laptop, or I can’t); but am rather resenting the idea of paying $15 shipping. For that I’d expect it to arrive wrapped in freshly polished plutonium, carried by a band of faeries sat atop a unicorn. Or in other words, I think $15 shipping for *one book* is entirely unreasonable. Ironically, were the book $10 and the shipping $10 I may have gone for it. But the balance is all wrong.

Anyway, it’s an excellent book, and I recommend the free PDF, and the book to those living in the US. :-)

And now, I must away.

Dark Angel

So, I finally got to watching the rest of DA, I’ve been on somewhat of a DA kick of late and have just finished watching Season 2; including the last few episodes which I’d previously not seen. Season 2 is vastly better than Season 1; I guess that’s what comes of giving your characters a backstory that the viewer is aware of. It’s much darker too; the new enemy bringing a much more sinister plot line than that of season 1.

Which makes the ending of the story, where it does end, that much more frustrating. There are story lines which are clearly waiting to unfold. the writers finally tangling all the  threads of the story into one complex mass; but then… the season ends…

Lauren says there’s two books which quickly finish off the story but tell no-where near all of the possible threads… It turns out there’s a third book that’s a prequel, which I may have to nab. It all adds to my collect of series that I thought were really good which got canned. Feh.

’tis the season to be overheated

’tis hot, and ’tis continuing to maliciously be hot without any good reason.

Yes. So.

Here I am, home again, my dissertation meeting went well, some suggested modifications (essentially, I need to link back more to my earlier critique, and there’s a couple of comments I made which he felt should have been referenced) which I can make and then on to the discussion. I didn’t realise that the copyright with my dissertation apparently lies with the university; I find this most odd. These days, the university is paid by me (in this case, by the NHS) to provide a service; unlike a job where *they* pay me to do work, I *pay* them to teach me. So why should I let them have the copyright on my work? Hrmph.
I picked up the ScanJet 3300C today, so I’m ‘with scanner’ again, which is good news. ‘cos I’ve missed having one. Of course, working out where *exactly* a scanner fits into the room is… challenging, to say the least.

Yeah, anyway, main point of this post; Aisling pointed me at Breakfast on Pluto, which she thought I’d enjoy – and it’s true I did. I really found it excellent; incredibly funny but also incredbly touching. Filled with brilliant music… It’s now on my to buy DVD list.

It does have a few continunity glitches but within their budget they’ve done an astounding job of recreating the right look.

Dull, dull, dull.

So, I’ve got the next two days ‘off’; in that time I’ve got several things I need to do:

  • Action plan for essay. Find evidence. Implement plan. Write 2000 word essay.
  • Polish of reviewing those last two papers. Hope the two I’ve ordered are good.
  • Attack the EU Packs a bit.
  • Swim.
  • Find out what I need to have done for Friday’s Uni Day; and do it.

I’ve rung about the moved goalposts / government forms. I’ve prodded into action the machines that need prodding. Christ knows what’d’ve happened if I’d’ve not rung.

I also need to:

  • Service my car (in the near future, it’s not desparate yet but the brakes are starting to pull slightly to the left, so I reckon they’re due the service they’ve not had for the last 2 and a bit years…). They tyres need ‘rotating’ – because the front ones are looking a trifle worn. Not at the wear limit, but getting awfully close, so I shall swap them round a bit. Hopefully it might help me track down the hideous shudder. But I really can’t afford to replace them before the end of the placement – and this placement is hard on tyres (all bloody roundabouts and nice-to-drive curvy British roads)
  • Strip my bike’s frame. Someone’s very kindly (incredibly kindly) offered to weld up the frame for me – which I really need done, but I need to strip the bike down to just the frame.

Excitement is clearly brewing in the House of Elliott ;-) Continue reading “Dull, dull, dull.”

There’s no place that’s home

It’s bloody cold here this morning. It’s probably not that cold, but sat around in my big teeshirt and socks I’m fracking freezing. The wet hair probably doesn’t help

If you’re wondering about the whole ‘fracking’ thing, it’s a BSGism and it’s because I’ve noticed that Europeans, or more specifically the British and the Irish swear a hell of a lot more than Candians and Americans. For example. Had I written that sentance the way I first thought of it it’d’ve been: “swear a fuck load more than…”

When I visited Ireland all those happy years ago (3…) I thought “bloody hell” – and my ‘Irish’ accent is largely based around me dropping in about 60% more instances of the word “fuck”. Apparently it sounds like TV-Northern Irish. Anyway, I guess that’s how I must sound to Canadians…
Anyway, so, in an effort to make myself more polite I’m trying to drop the swearing. Thing is, I don’t swear at work, I’m really shocked when nurses swear – there’s this really nice Spanish nurse at work who learned English in the North of England, and her choice of words is rather more colourful than you’d maybe expect… Which is quite entertaining.

Yeah. So. It’s funny, I’ve felt this before and it’s usually a transient thing, but I’m kind of feeling it again; the whole not feeling at home anywhere. I mean, it’s my home, this is my house, some of my friends are here in Bristol. But I kind of mentally disconnected myself from the place when I decided I wanted to move to Canada. It’s bizzare. Bristol’s now just the place I live. Like my mum’s house, it’s a place I stay. Which has the unfortunate side effect of no-where feeling like home. I’ve ensnared myself in my own mental trap.

Not so clever after all :-p

Anyhow, that’s been bugging me, I’m treading water waiting for the time when I don’t have to wait for the time. Which is made more frustrating by discovering that the recruitment agents and the hospitals in Canada want 2 years post-qualifying experience in your chosen field before considering you for work. This is agonisingly painful. I now feel like I’ve hit the pause button on my life and can’t press play. The idea of staying here for 2 years after qualifying instead of 1.5 from now, well, it’s kind of depressing really. On the other hand it’s probably a more ‘reasonable’ timescale for me to raise the money and so on – so the sensible part of me is going “well, I guess it isn’t so bad. It’s only 6 months”; and the impatient impulsive bit of me is being driven nuts by it.

I’m still stuck listening to Desi on the Streets of Calcutta, incidentally.

Anyway, other stuff, namely Northern Exposure. I’ve finished season one of Northern Exposure off; the disks managing to last a week of viewing only with emmense effort on my part. I’d never seen Season one before, it’s (obviously) no where as developed as the later series, the characters seem rather two dimensional – and lack depth… Sometimes it feels like not only do you not know their backstory but that they don’t really have one. On the other hand, there are sparks of what the series was to become – and there’s some really good episodes hidden in this first series.

That – and the first episode when Joel is sent to Cicely is just hilarious. It’s the final epsiode of the series which really grabbed me though; the characters have started to get that rich depth that was so much a hallmark of the series and that episode – it grabbed me and sucked me in completely. I could watch it again right now. Highs and lows, humour and pain; all the things I loved about Northern Exposure.

One thing though; the DVDs are absolute shit. Complete and total pathetic crap. For the first time in my life I’ve submitted an Amazon review because it’s beyond poor. The quality of the video is fine, that I don’t really have any complaints about; in fact, I thought that the quality was suprisingly good. No. It’s the fact they’ve not even bothered to put chapter markers in it. No chapter markers at all. So you can’t stop an episode and come back to it without having to fast-forward through it video style. In fact, it’s worse than video because video you could stop and come back to, but not the Northern Exposure disks.

I don’t mind not having extras. I don’t actually care about that, they’re nice but I didn’t really expect much from a series shot in 1990, even not having scene selection – I don’t care. But no chapters at all? What kind of crap is that? They want 26 quid for the third DVD in the set, and it better bloody have chapter markers.

And in other news I’ve caught up on The L Word (spoilers (short)). Continue reading “There’s no place that’s home”

Herbie (Fully Loaded)

So, I finally got around to watching Herbie Fully Loaded; I know, I’m incredibly sad. I’ve loved Herbie films ever since watching Herbie, The Love Bug countless times at Primary School (where they had a copy of it on 16mm film and it was shown at least once a year).

I’ve always had this kind of… mechanical sympathy. Just watch me wandering round scrap yards; there’s a kind of bizzare reverance in my head, a respect for these vehicles, don’t ask me why. Maybe they have a soul…

Or indeed, watch me stroke the ‘hump’ on my beloved Rebecca.

Anyway, back to the film. [spoilers, but none you’d not guess]

Continue reading “Herbie (Fully Loaded)”