| Tuesday 29th August 2006 8:00MDT | → 0 Comments |
This is an example of an Item
Sitting outside on the grass with my Thinkpad, hacking away in the glorious sunshine. This is the first time I’ve undocked it for ages and was rewarded for this by LCD screen faults - there are two vertical lines of what seem to be either dead or misbehaving pixels (I suspect the latter, as one line is cyan and the other white).
Given the problems I’ve had with this machine recently such as overheating, not-properly supported video card in Fedora Core 5 meaning I can’t do 1280×1024 externally, having to restart it when undocking otherwise the display stays blank, poor battery life, slight screen ‘buzzing’ sound when using reduced contract, wireless driver not supporting WPA - I’m considering getting a replacement.
Admittedly, this is only a ‘nice to have’ rather than ‘must have’ as I only occasionally use it in true laptop mode and there would be the added complication of finding a machine that was sufficiently hardware compatible with Linux, and that’s never a trivial exercise. To be honest, I could happily only use it docked as the screen resolution issue is my biggest gripe - though that seems to be entirely due to FC5, given that it worked OK on FC3 and with Knoppix.
Another bank holiday and I’m wasting it by not going far afield and spending the time stuck in traffic jams or being irritated to death by unruly children on trains.
StillStream: Live ambient radio.
I’ve booked my taxi to the airport to get me there three hours before my flight. Hopefully, under the new regime, this will be sufficient time with all the new paranoia-based security checks though I can’t say I’m hopeful. Partial good news is that I’ll be able to carry my camera in my hand luggage, though bizarrely I’ll have to have it scanned separately, along with other electrical items, to demonstrate… what? That it isn’t a solid masquerading as a liquid?
Spam email is reaching astronomical proportions. I’ve received 13000 in three days. In fact, it’s so much that I can’t delete it all in one go as the IMAP connection times out. Die horrible deaths, evil spammers.
On Tuesday Daryl and I had a birthday dinner for Denise at the Portuguese restaurant in Guildford, Magnificos. I gave her some bath spa lights.
The following day, D & I met up with Stuart at another restaurant, who is starting a new job with a company based in Guildford (even though he will actually be working on client sites in London all the time). We haven’t seen each other for ages and spent many an hour discussing the political situation - though not over Port and cigars.
Today I learn from The Guardian that the most expensive point in your life occurs when you’re 34 (which I am) and that afternoon I had to shell out
As always, Bruce Schneier puts it better than I could when it comes to anti-terrorist strategy (or lack of). An excerpt:
It’s easy to defend against what the terrorists planned last time, but it’s shortsighted. If we spend billions fielding liquid-analysis machines in airports and the terrorists use solid explosives, we’ve wasted our money. If they target shopping malls, we’ve wasted our money. Focusing on tactics simply forces the terrorists to make a minor modification in their plans. There are too many targets — stadiums, schools, theaters, churches, the long line of densely packed people before airport security — and too many ways to kill people.
I’m going to open a can of whup-ass as regards my bank because they totally screwed up an overseas transfer to Terry that normally takes five days but actually took a month.
I can’t say I’m looking forward to yet more security restrictions imposed on flying (why do these terrorist incidents always happen just before I’m about to travel across the atlantic?). Apart from the already tedious requirements when going to the US, including having to hand over all your personal details and have your luggage rummaged through by officials who, last time this happened, did so in front of me and kept commenting on the presents I’d brought for Terry(!)
Now I can’t take any music or books on the plane (not even newspapers apparently, not on flights to the US). So, 7-8 hours staring out of the window or watching a limited selection of crap movies. Oh, and I can’t take any flight sickness stuff as they’re not ‘prescription’ - that’s going to be fun.
I suppose I can pass the time wondering how to make a claim for all the valuable possessions, like my iPod or digital camera, which may well disappear from my hold luggage as any criminal types who find their way amongst baggage handlers have a field day. I’ll have to check how theft from luggage is covered - my suspicions are the insurance company, airport and airline all play ‘not me guv’ when possessions go walkies.
All this on top of the usual stress of flying with the barely satisfactory transport options to Heathrow as well as queuing for God-knows-how-long at check-in. I think the only compensation is that flights to/from the US allow two suitcases in the hold. Even then, BA are reducing their baggage allowance to 23Kg so my shiny new pink suitcase, which weighs 8Kg empty(!), may have its first and last outing.
Oh, and the threat level has gone from severe to critical - what are you doing differently? Nothing? Then THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON!
One thing I hate more than having my hair cut is choosing a new pair of glasses, as I quickly fall out of love with the frames I thought were so cool only weeks before. I had decided I’d finally had enough of my current specs and needed some new sunglasses too (in order to look tragically hip in Madison in a month’s time). I tootled along to Specsavers only intending to get the sunglasses but they were doing a two-for-one so I got some normal glasses (designer frames too) for free. Bonus!
Moved desks at work from a cozy office of five people to an open-plan floor of many. One criticism of those previously on that floor is the sheer openness discourages people from chatting, as your voice carries to everyone. I don’t like the sound of that.
Recent purchase: Fall of the Roman Republic by Plutarch.
I actually feel happy and motivated for what seems to be the first time in ages, partly because I had a long talk with one of our directors (she’s one of the two top bods) who not only wanted to chat about where I wanted to go in the company, and would do what she could to achieve that, but told me I was a valued colleague, etc. It’s amazing what I few words will do, though it probably came about due to ‘misunderstandings’ - i.e. I was managing my project/product/customer well enough that she didn’t need to get involved but I interpreted that as implying they didn’t care about me! In reality my product is only a small part of the business and only I really work on it full time. Alternatively, I just got into a cycle of depression and paranoia!
On Saturday I went walking around Frensham Pond with Graham. Very pleasant. I must take Terry there. I also got to see his new sitting room and trendy, designer fireplace that I covet - if only I could afford even the deposit for a house. Then again, I have just received an inflation-proofing pay rise.
Only five weeks until I see Terry again!