bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
My parcel turned up!

It had the other engineer's delivery address stuck on top of my original one.

He reckons that when he booked his parcel for redelivery, it picked up mine as well, which is why my parcel didn't get redelivered yesterday.

Glad stuff has arrived, but I have no idea how DPD managed to shamble this. :)
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
The story so far. Not as bad as the Ikea or Virgin shenanigans I've heard from Aquarion or Dave, but bizarre in its own way.

1. Ordered a few things from ASOS last week. Delivery company was DPD, who give you a time window for when they'll deliver and can reschedule it for you.

2. Scheduled delivery for Saturday at work address, because I've had things delivered on Saturday before so I assume there's usually someone on front desk or post duty to sign for it. Saturday came, I got an email saying nobody collected it so I should sort out redelivery.

3. Went to the DPD site to reschedule, with the card number they'd given me in email. Discovered that the package had apparently been signed for - in February.

4. Phoned DPD, where the guy I talked to said that the card number had been recycled and (through bad luck, I guess) had previously been used for a delivery to the same postcode (i.e. my office). He booked the redelivery for Monday, and mentioned there were some other parcels heading to the same address.

5. Monday came with a text message telling me the parcels would be delivered around noon, and Monday went with nothing from DPD about them having delivered the parcels, and nothing from our facilities department about me having a parcel.

6. Tuesday came with a text message telling me the parcels would be delivered around noon, with a slightly different hour-long window but the same parcel number as yesterday.

7. Then someone at work emailed me because he'd got a reminder email from DPD about a delivery to the office in my name.

We've exchanged a few emails, and he's waiting for a delivery that wasn't collected on Saturday as well (although from a different online shop - to be extra confusing, he has also this morning ordered from the one I ordered from last week).

I think what DPD might be doing here is indexing orders by delivery address minus name, which strikes me as the stupidest damn thing if you stop and think about the existence of offices. Maybe adding a date, which still doesn't solve anything.

If the parcels don't turn up this lunchtime, I'll phone DPD and see if I can find out what on earth happened.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Read a Rolling Stone article about the sheer volume of actual fucking fraud that is involved in many of the current US banks foreclosing on homes. Not homeowners committing fraud, the banks, and it goes all the way down (of course it's related to the pit of lies and bullshit that was the subprime mortgage market, it's just horrifying to realise quite how much lying was going on).

And in an effort to try to do something with the money that I have that isn't "spend it on stuff I don't need" and that is "help the world be better", I've signed up on Kiva, a microfinance site, and have made a loan (just one so far, but I intend to do this regularly). Check the site out if this interests you.
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Hello, Jon Henley!

You wrote an article in the G2 today about the leader of a nation currently dealing with the (as far as I can tell) worldwide debt crisis, with some interesting stuff about that leader's political history. But there was something that nearly stopped me reading it at the start.

Why the hell did you see it necessary to describe the leader in question as "pale" and "irredeemably frumpy"? Did that have anything to do with discussion of their policies or political history, at all?

Do you comment on, for example, the US president's appearance when you write something about him? Other than if it's relevant to the article, no, of course you don't.

Or did you just do it to Merkel because she's a woman, and women's appearances are public property?
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
I have only just discovered that along with the many other science and mathematical Olympiads, there is an International Linguistics Olympiad. The sample questions are amazing.

Unlike another Olympiad I never heard of at school (the International Olympiad in Informatics - we knew about the Chemistry, Physics and Maths ones, and I assumed there was a Biology one as well), the Linguistics Olympiad started two years after I left school, and the UK one has only been going since 2009.

But having looked at the sample questions, I am so enthused about it that I am likely to have a look at some of them in more detail this evening. :D
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Wanted to share a pair of well-presented and phrased (optional) gender and sexuality survey questions I've seen recently. These are from a survey from Allout.org, a project campaigning for the lives and freedoms of LGBT people.

Image under the cut. )
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
Note: this is your last chance to claim any of the books in http://bouteillebleu.livejournal.com/187771.html - I am going to take the unclaimed ones to charity shops this weekend.

But I do have some more books. As before, these are yours if you're interested - come June they will be going to charity shops.

Books are £1 each unless there's another price, all paperback unless otherwise mentioned. Can do delivery within Cambridge or to Maelstrom event 4; Odyssey event 3 might be possible via someone else but would have to arrange. Anything else, let me know and I'll see what we can work out.

Read more... )
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
Books I am getting rid of. Yours if you're interested - come May, the ones that are left will be going to local charity shops.

EDIT: Books that were not claimed have now all been donated to Mind on Burleigh Street in Cambridge, in case you were after them and would like to know where to acquire them. Edge magazines are still available, pending me figuring out how best to dispose of them.

Books listed below the cut. )
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Spinemeet on Sunday was good - I'd forgotten how much fun it is to get together with the other people in the group and just chat, either about things in general or about Maelstrom. (Hazard of going to player events on my own.) Looking forward to event 1.

Got more sleep over the weekend, so am feeling better about work and have clearer ideas about what I'm doing.

Sonata Arctica gig on Friday was good as well. Musician's earplugs continue to hold up well (they're these ones - cheap, reusable, and even work with my ears that can't cope with in-ear headphones, so I'd recommend them to anyone looking for something better than disposible ones).

I, er, spent most of the opening acts reading a book I'd started on the train into London, as the O2 Academy Islington has sofas on its mezzanine level and they were quite comfortable. Found a spot half-behind one of the ceiling pipes that gave me a view of the stage when Sonata started playing, which had the bonus feature that I couldn't see the strobe light directly. Then listened and sang along to my heart's content - the music is singable and the band make their concerts fun.

Set list was as follows:

Sonata Arctica set list, 25/3/11, O2 Islington )
bouteillebleu: (Lightbulb)
This is something of a stretch, but on the offchance one of you has experience that you'd be willing to share...

I have just bought a Wacom Bamboo Pen graphics tablet (well, tablet and stylus), model number CTL-460. The computers I can use it on are one running Windows 2000 (apparently too hold, according to the box) and one running Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope).

Haven't tried it yet with Windows 2000, but I've just spent an immensely frustrating hour recompiling part of the kernel and filling in a config file, neither of which worked.

I'm planning to try this again tomorrow when I have more brains to do so, but in the meantime, does anyone have experience of getting this sort of tablet to work under either of these operating systems? If so, what would you suggest needs doing?

EDIT: Ah ha! Turns out that if I plug it into the Win2K desktop and hope, it works. Just like that. Fiendishly sensitive and possibly not adjustable beyond using the standard mouse sensitivity things, but it works. Is somewhat painful to use as a mouse alternative, though, so lesson learned, and I have a nice graphics tablet for drawing / colouring things.
bouteillebleu: (fragile companion)
Will be happy at Maelstrom if I get the alcohol I bought to sell to people all handed out and paid for,

Managed this at the end of the event - there were two bottles left over because Aquarion and Helen hadn't collected theirs, Helen gave me £10 and I took the two of them to various members of PD crew as a thank-you.

and get to LARP with cool people,

Yes, but not as much as I'd hoped. I usually walk a thin line at events between eating and drinking enough to keep me moving but not have to take too many toilet breaks or drop OOC to eat too often, and drinking or eating so little that I get dehydrated or run entirely out of energy.

This event was hot enough and still enough that I tripped over the line and landed metaphorically on my face, spending about 50% of the entire event's time-in time OOC in shade of some sort (or First Aid) trying to rehydrate or remember to eat. Potch needs brainpower for me to play it and with heat exhaustion, it just didn't work.

meet friends I don't see very often,

I did do this - got a chance to hang around OOC with people while I was waiting for the sun to go away, including some people I see very rarely IC for one reason or another.

and enjoy myself.

Well, when I managed to time in I had some quite interesting moments. Can't pick out any as especially awesome or enjoyable - and the niggling fear at the back of my mind of "am I actually playing the character right?" that comes up when I'm not properly immersed was more frequent, presumably because my stints in character were shorter. I also didn't have enough sleep reserves to not be tired when it was very late at night (I got most of my roleplaying done after sunset because by then the heat was tolerable).

However, I've got some ideas ready for next event, have some other things I need to write about and write to people about, and have calmed down from the Sunday somewhat.

My main impression is that I'd kind of like to redo the weekend for myself, being more sensible about drinking enough (I brought six bottles of water and six bottles of Lucozade with me; I only drank two of the water bottles). As it is, I managed to be present at half an event and coherent for about a quarter - I wouldn't say it was a bad event, but it's my least good one so far.
bouteillebleu: (Chocolate)
From one of the comments on the latest post on Fred Clark's blog Slacktivist:

The essence of hope that Fred always advocates is all about the seemingly endless Holy Saturday - awash in doubt and implacable, saturated evil - and the conviction that Sunday - victory and harmony and paradise, however you might envision it - will exist, already does exist in the future. It occurs to me that the way to engage that conviction may be to start things and push forward things that you know you're never going to see the conclusion of, because limiting yourself only to things that can be finished in the time you have means never touching some of the biggest and most important work.

Hurrah!

May. 4th, 2010 11:17 am
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Unit tests save my bacon today, as I was trying to figure out why my code is suddenly failing, narrowed it down to a pair of functions, think "urgh, ought to write unit tests for those", then discover that I have already done so. Whee!

(And once I had the problem visible it was about two minutes' work to spot the problem, fix it, rerun the tests, discover that everything was all right, and cheer. Going to get celebratory coffee may take a little longer than two minutes.)

Exercism

Apr. 29th, 2010 07:32 pm
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Finally levered myself out of my office chair this evening to go to the work gym. Managed to do squats, deadlifts, bench press and one set of single arm rows before my right shoulder incessantly clicking told me to stop being silly. Also some cardio on the cross-trainer.

Turns out that if I go to the gym *before* I am too knackered to stay at work, then come back to the office and eat something nice (thank you Sainsburys for microwaved risotto), I am much more likely to be willing to gym. :)

(Reference on numbers:
Squats 3 sets of 6, 20kg (bar only)
Deadlifts 3 sets of 6, 20kg (bar only)
Bench press 3 sets of 4, 30kg (bar + 10kg - this was very hard)
Single-arm row 1 set of 10, 10kg)
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Our house has quite a few laptops. One of them, James's first laptop, is a Toshiba Satellite Pro that's getting on for five years old, and was recently getting so slow that booting XP took about ten minutes and getting it to a usable state took at least twenty.

So, this weekend, after copying useful files off it, we reformatted it and installed Ubuntu 9.04.

It's still a bit slow in places, but getting it to a point where I can open Firefox and browse the internet is a lot quicker. I've even managed to get the Cisco VPN client working with my work profiles, with the help of two guides on what needs patching (the first of those is newer, and its instructions worked fine; the second gives notes on where to put profile files).

However, I've not managed to get rdesktop to connect to my work machine while I'm logged into the VPN, so it's not quite at can-work-from-home-on-the-laptop stage yet; that's for the desktop.

EDIT: Turns out that using tsclient - which comes installed in the default Ubuntu 9.04 distro - gets it working and brings up my work desktop. Hurrah!
bouteillebleu: (Yarn)
This is based on several articles I've read about dyeing wool-based yarns, and is an Experiment! to see what I can do.

There follow adventures! in dyeing. )
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
Helped parents install Windows 7 on their laptop yesterday, by which I mean my brother and I installed it and occasionally told parents useful things about it when they came past.

Things I like about it:
- Plug and Play is what it says. Printer worked, mouse worked, scanner had to be searched for but didn't take very long. Only thing we had some problems with was the ADSL USB modem, of which more later.
- Internet access via ad-hoc network worked straight away with no need to change settings - just plugged the ethernet cable into its network port and it picked up the network and was happy. (More on this later, though.)
- UAC much improved since Vista and Win2K8 Server - it's more akin to the popups that one of the spyware blockers I use has, which tell you when something is trying to install or run that you might not have expected.

In general it looks like the operating system's grown up and really quite nice.

The not-so-fun has been today's attempt to get our Thomson Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL modem playing nice with 64-bit Windows 7. There are no drivers for Windows 7 in general or the 64-bit version in particular; we made two initial attempts, first with the drivers that came with the product (no go) and second with the 32-bit Vista drivers (also no go). A workaround on Technet looked promising but led to blue-screening every time we plugged the modem in.

Finally, another workaround on Technet gave us a working setup and a connection that would actually work! Hurrah!

Except now the Win7 laptop can't see the internet connection through the network like it could before, and I have no idea how to sort this.

FAKE EDIT: Brother has copied over the settings we had on parents' old laptop (for when it was using Internet Connection Sharing) and applied them to the LAN connection on the new one and it works fine. Huzzah!

I still think things might have been easier with an ethernet-based ADSL modem/router, but at least the duct tape on this setup is now in all the right places. :)

ow

Oct. 9th, 2009 09:20 am
bouteillebleu: (Lightbulb)
Right hand currently tingling from palm to fingers on thumb and first two fingers. (I'm typing this left-handed only.) Straightening arm makes tingling more intense. Also odd slight pulling sensation at middle base of palm.

Thought I slept badly on it, but after being up for an hour and a half, and running it under both hot and cold water with no effect, I'm stuck. Possibly doctor a good idea, but it's not really an emergency.

EDIT: Phoned, have appointment with my usual GP for 4pm today. Odds on symptoms entirely subsiding by the time I ahve the appointment are high (this is the reason I haven't done much about it before; if I can't accurately report symptoms, because I'm not currently having them, it seems pointless).
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Gym again today. Managed 15 minutes on crosstrainer, did a fair amount of pressups (15/10/10/10/15 - didn't take notes on suggested numbers from http://hundredpushups.com/ alas) against the guardrail by the stairs, tried the arm resistance machine and gave up after about two minutes because left hand was aching, did a few minutes on a treadmill.

Treadmill unfortunately not great for practising paladin jog. Suppose I will have to find interesting places in Cambridge to run instead, OH THE HORROR.

Rowing machines possibly a good plan for near end rather than near start of workout, because at the start I'm not really warmed up and thus my leg muscles can't compensate for weak knees (also, lower back gripes a bit). Rowing machines occasionally dubious because I am a technique snob and don't want to have to look at rubbish rowers. :)

While going to the gym is getting me to actually do more exercise and sweat more (always good), I'm not sure I'm using the time as well as I could. Going to look at http://www.stumptuous.com/ and go on Wednesday with more of a plan.

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