Print Story Ha! Confounded my critics.
By ambrosen (Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:04:43 AM EST) (all tags)
Well, to confound the sceptics who doubt my ability to write a diary, I hereby am writing up my plans for today, which although terminally dull, are the kind of thing which HuSi has previously thrived on, and have been sadly lacking since Herring was websensed and a few other things.

So, what's inside‽

Full contents moved inside, because this entry was just too long.

Oh, and a tiebreak:

King Kong's strength would be great at breakfast because...
(complete in no more than 12 words.)

Full contents.

  • Real diarising (i.e. my to-do list)
  • Tedious car DIY
  • Getting my mum a present
  • Planning my weekend
  • Work lifestyle whinging
  • Work technical whinging
  • Bedroom drama (of a dull sort)
  • Conforming to UKian stereotypes
  • Poor health
  • Gadget freakery
  • Bike porn
  • Scrabble
  • Gimping
My plan for the day (fear not, I will expand on most of these items):
  1. Phone up dentist.
  2. Phone up mobile phone company.
  3. Eat lunch.
  4. Examine car. See if it's still dripping (small amounts of) diesel.
  5. Go to Smethwick.
  6. Buy Hydraflush and LHM and fuel hose.
  7. Go to station and get train to Birmingham.
  8. Find a birthday present for my Mum.
  9. Return from Birmingham (via Park and Ride in Smethwick).
  10. Drain car hydraulics and refill with hydraflush, washing filters in petrol.
  11. Fit new fuel hoses, if I need them.
  12. Stop fiddling with car because there's lots else to do.
  13. Write up plan of church services for this Easter weekend away, what with me being in charge of services.
  14. Write up half hour seminar I have to do on how to do church services.
  15. Yeah, right, I've already run out of time. Also, I've just realised I have to do my laundry before anything else. Here's picture from last laundry day:
The washing
The machine
The dispenser
They're not as good as misslake's, I think.

Tedious car DIY

So, the reason for all my car based errands is that I'm attempting to make a 12 year old car serve me for the rather excessive amount of driving I have to do to commute to a job that's a 100 mile round trip (only 3 days a week, though). I've dramatically cut down on the weekend excursions, though.

The main problem with the car isn't the age, but the fact that over its one eighth of a million miles, it seems to have had little servicing. In particular, given that it's air sprung, those springs need changing every 40000 miles or so. They're cheap. It's about £100-£200 for the set at an independent garage, but they'd not been done on the car when I got it at 115000 miles, and it bounced like a fucker. I took a shameful 5000 miles before I got round to it. As the bloke in the garage pointed out, they were dangerous. Worse still, they'd shaken the ABS sensors apart, so when it came to passing the MOT (roadworthiness) test, those all needed replacing, at a parts cost of £250 and a labour cost of £200. Steep.

So now, the hydraulics are all bunged up and the rear height sensor isn't moving. I'll run the hydraulics with flush in for 1000 miles, then replace with ordinary fluid. That should clear it out, otherwise it's to the junkyard for a replacement rear height sensor, or a new one at £100 (depending on what says).

Should all be fun. There's a few other minor fixes that need doing, too, but that should see me through for a while.

Mum's present

No idea, here. I've a feeling she's a bit overwhelmed with stuff at the moment, too, so introducing new gadgets to her world isn't a good thing. I think furnishings will fit the bill. A trip to Habitat it is, then.

Planning my weekend

Well, there's a social weekend for people in the church this weekend, and I got myself in charge of organising the services, mainly because if I didn't, everything would be done wrong and be all about singing, which is annoying. So I've got to write up all the page references and everything for all the services so that everyone can find what's going on, and write a checklist so that we know we've got people to read everything out. That should be fun.

Come to think of it, that should also prepare me for writing up the seminar I'm giving on how to do the services correctly.

There'll be hot chixxors there, too, as well as interesting people, so it should end up being fun. I will be knackered though. My stamina is well below what's needed for ordinary life. I only work three days a week and I'm knackered all the time.

n.b. I'm not responsible for that abomination of a website I just linked to. Well, I'm responsible for hosting it, but the design is not mine. That said, I'm glad someone else did it, even if I don't approve.

Work lifestyle whinging

Another colleague has joined us at the office, replacing the Lebanese bloke who told obscene jokes, had poor English, and demanded he did just the one job (packing), at which he was not much good, although highly praised by my boss.

Anyway, this new colleague is getting towards her late middle age and is divorced from her husband, with children. Superficially, this is similar to the accounts clerk, who, obviously for a mail order business, (officially, as the boss only claims 25 hours a week for administrative reasons) works the longest hours of the five employees. They're different people, however. I think the following scene is typical:

Cast: Boss (B), New Administrative Woman (NAW), Veteran Accounts Clerk (VAC), Me (No speaking parts. I bite my tongue in these exchanges).

Setup: Boss in his office, landlocked by the main office, in which the other three of us sit. His door is open, so he talks through to us. Time is 4pm.

B: NAW, what rank's your son in the navy.
NAW: Warrant Office Class 2. [IIRC]
B: So he's a pe*tea* officer.
NAW: You could say that. Why did you want to know?
VAC: No, he's not talking to you, he's talking to me. He wants me to make the tea.
NAW: I know what he wants, I'm not going to do it for him.
VAC: It's alright, I do it.
NAW: I know that, I just don't think you should.
VAC: No, I do it. What do you want, B?
B: [Somthing esoteric]

I think that was roughly how it went.

I was tempted to point out to NAW that "we don't let him near the dangerous things like the kettle", but it seemed unfair to have conflict and an argument on the newby's first day. She seemed quick on the uptake with the tea hints anyway.

This rudeness is taken as standard.

Work technical whinging

I cocked up when originally taking on the technical part of this job by accepting someone else's plan for what shopping cart software/hosting plan to use for our online shop, for which I am responsible. So, we're stuck with ASP, and a truly dire piece of software, such as all ASP freeware is (and, I'm sure, the stuff you pay for, too). Anyway, the time has come to migrate the database from Access to MS SQL. This has been a pain in the arse. I hate the whole convoluted job.

Also, the product database for inhouse stuff is FileMaker Pro. It is designed by the boss's wife. She seems to be dyslexic. She also seems to be somewhat insecure (see transcript above for hints as to why). She is not technically trained. It's a nightmare. Filemaker Pro is not good software.

I get hassled every time some tiny feature changes, such as I use a computer (I have no Mac assigned to me, which is what everyone else uses, so occasionally I have to leave the safety of my PC).

I have squandered all my ability to be trusted by making optimistic pronouncements which failed to take into account the above clusterfucks and the clusterfuck that is my life when making estimates as to how soon things can get done. <sigh>.

Bedroom Drama

I spilt my glass of water on my sheets as I was attempting to have a nice lie in this morning. It was annoying. I got them off before the mattress got wet, however.

Conforming to UKian stereotypes.

I'm not enrolled at a dentist. The life threatening fiasco I was put through with an incompetent GP when I first arrived here in lovely Walsall, combined with the fact that my Dad had the wrong tooth pulled by his dentist shortly after made me a touch wary of finding a good dentist.

So when I got a sharp edge on my first upper right molar a year or so ago, I put it on my to-do list of things that needed fixing. Unfortunately, a week ago, I found that it had actually become a largeish hole in my upper right canine. I'm hoping that my parents' current (NHS (i.e. subsidised)) dentist will be able to enrol me. I was told to phone today and sound contrite, and they may manage it. Still, may be a fair old bill. It'll be my first dental work. I may need a few molars filled, too, though. It's been a hard couple of years on my teeth.

Poor health

Not much to say here. I'm wanting some Infliximab for my Crohn's disease, but the consultant's umming and ahing about whether I need it. The nurse specialist seems fairly clear on the point. It's an expensive drug, though. I've a feeling it may have a bearing on the problem, but I'm not sure. I always end up looking much more healthy when I'm talking to a consultant, though. It's like an interview room, I guess.

Gadget freakery

I got a new mobile. It's a Nokia N90. It's a flip phone with a 2 megapixel camera and a decent (Carl Zeiss branded) lens. The sensor's CMOS, and poor in low light, though. Puzzling. The pictures are good enough for me not to need a camera, though, and with the phone free, a £35 line rental commitment for 6 months (plus 12 months after at whatever level) and 50% of that back if I claim a rebate, it seems worth it.

The screen on the inside (it's a flip phone) is the best screen I've ever seen. It's about 200dpi, I think, and lovely and sharp. A nice toy. I'll get a bigger MMC card for it and put some music on it soon.

Bike porn

This chainguard looks positively delicious for utility bike porn. The top one, that is.

More utility bike porn: A carbon fibre Gazelle. Only 15kg, all in. Apart from the Brooks saddle and Carradice saddlebag, of course.

This is a bonkers carbon recumbent.


I had ACNTSSE on my first go to play on towaRd but I couldn't make anything from it. I'm a muppet.


I spent a little too much effort on this thread last night. Still, all good fun.

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Ha! Confounded my critics. | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I am, sir, confounded. by Alice Pulley (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:24:34 AM EST
Very thorough.

Bedroom drama empathy. I once, when about 17 and a bit silly, smashed a glass on myself whilst attempting to open my window (next to my bed). There was glass everywhere. I couldn't be bothered to clear up and went back to sleep. Many small (fortunately) lacerations ensued. Needless to say, I was exceptionally hung over.

Phone, I too have a new mobile, a motorola pebl bought solely for looks not techy stuff (I just don't have a clue). I am in intrigued in sending picure messages at the moment (never bothered before because the cameras on the phones I have had have been shit). If you feel brave pm your no to me and I shall send you such pictures.


'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

Bedroom drama was just a teaser, really. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:44:05 AM EST
It was probably a good thing it happened otherwise I wouldn't have got up for another half hour.

Like the nurse phoning me when I was hot and sweaty in bed on Monday morning.

I think the phone's worth it. I used to make content for phones, in a pointless company that was spread from my desire of what I wanted from a phone, which is what a gadget freak wants, not a normal person. A patient gadget freak at that. But my friend took up the gauntlet, and it was the .COM era, and I was leaving uni, so I joined up with him, and had all the phones I could want back in the day. So that encouraged my, "mmm, shiny!" approach to the things.

I'm just wishing Mr Stair Dismount had ported his game to it.

Oh, and you've got PM. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
Golf clap by hulver (4.00 / 2) #2 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:26:35 AM EST
Excellent diary good sir.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Many thanks. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:36:18 AM EST
I aim to please.

Actually, I just aim to get my mind all in order so I can have some perspective on stuff. But thanks for providing the audience. It's good.

[ Parent ]
Every time I see the word 'Citreon' by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:50:25 AM EST

I get that goddamned Marc Riley & The Creepers song stuck in my head. On the plus side, it's a good song. HOP IN YOUR CITREÖN AND GO...."

Also, tiebreak: a strong arm holds a big coffee cup.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
+1, by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 06:29:56 AM EST
nice use of the interrobang.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."
A slightly off-label use. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:15:03 AM EST
But the rhetorical question mark doesn't seem to be in most fonts, nor in use since the 16th century, so that wasn't appropriate.

[ Parent ]
nevertheless by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 10:33:09 AM EST
I support the use of offbeat punctuation, if only so they can be used in some innovative way other than in smilies. The rhetorial question mark seems to have been reborn as the irony mark. I think I might start adopting that lexicon of symbols.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."
[ Parent ]
Far too pedantic؟ by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 12:39:50 PM EST
I think the irony mark's probably more useful. The Arabic question mark that Wikipedia ad gives is a bit confusing to use, though. I've put it at the right of my slightly laboured ironic title by typing it first, of course. Let's see if it stays there when I click post.

[ Parent ]
Update: by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 12:55:16 PM EST
The reverse question mark's fine there, but it's all screwed up in my comments. How, erm, well, we know what those reversing .sigs do now, anyway.

[ Parent ]
Good work on theboz thread. by calla (4.00 / 2) #7 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 06:59:44 AM EST
The artwork is quite logerly, lowerly, loverly, lovely.

It would've been better with a whole antenna. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:05:19 AM EST
But yes, it was quite fun.

[ Parent ]
Thigh break: by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:48:36 AM EST
King Kong's strength would be great at breakfast many women have to be 'eaten' to make a nourishing breakfast.


Go ahead. Zero away...

So ambrosen's desire for by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:58:30 AM EST
expensive prescription drugs is what is killing the NHS? </Daily Mail>

I know the air suspension is cool, but maybe you should think about a lower maintainance vehicle?

I don't have any good comments really, just felt I should make the effort, since you made the effort to write a diary.

As for work, maybe you should follow Mr Pulley in the looking for a new one lark?

Quite possibly. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 08:41:50 AM EST
But it's cheaper than Herceptin, and the Daily Mail love that.

Generally the air suspension is low maintenance, so I'm hoping that this lot of stuff will see it through. The cars themselves are cheaper because of it, and the rest of it's solid for its age.

New job follows fixing my health. I'm not sure what to do about it, what with not knowing where I want to live (London's the current hypothesis), but it's going to be an arduous task. I'll start looking around in June.

And thanks for commenting. I like to be encouraged in my autobiographical endeavours.

[ Parent ]
Good luck with it all.. by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 08:48:45 AM EST
We should make sure to have a northern HuSi meetup before you disappear dahn sahf...

[ Parent ]
That would be great. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 12:41:38 PM EST
If I disappear down south, of course. Maybe a miracle will happen, I'll reconcile myself to living in the same town as my sister and I'll move to the MidlandsValley of Scotland. Edinburgh's where I'd really like to be, after all.

[ Parent ]
Ha! Confounded my critics. | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback