lexin: (Default)
2017-06-21 08:14 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Smokey and I are throwing ourselves around in attitudes, as it’s very hot (for Britain) and very humid. I’m all miserable and sweaty, and I’m sure I can say the same for Smokey but she only sweats through her paws. She has quite sweaty paws, though, and was once found to be allergic to a specific type of kitty litter for that reason.

In other news, I’ve done the first pass of ripping my DVDs to soft copy. I’m left with a few irritations – some of the seasons of Criminal Minds didn’t rip properly and I’ll have to rip them again, this time into MKV files. Plus the titles got somehow mixed up (it was obviously my fault) on the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, and I’m going to have to go through them patiently and make sure the right title is attached to each film. But it is mostly done.

I’m still following what’s coming out about the Grenfell Tower fire – the worst case of a fire since WW2, I think, and was totally avoidable if Kensington and Chelsea had just listened to the people who lived there and actually spent money on the place where it was needed. ‘Not political’ indeed! Ptui!
lexin: (Default)
2017-06-16 01:06 pm
Entry tags:

Update

According to the news this lunchtime, the number of people known to have died in the Grenfell Tower fire has risen to 30, with that number due to rise still higher.

On the BBC News website, “Architect and fire expert Sam Webb said: "We are still wrapping post-war high-rise buildings in highly flammable materials and leaving them without sprinkler systems installed, then being surprised when they burn down.

“"I really don't think the building industry understands how fire behaves in buildings and how dangerous it can be. The government's mania for deregulation means our current safety standards just aren't good enough."”


I do believe that this fire was caused by corners being cut by the local council, the cladding used not being correct for the use to which it was being put, and the fact that cladding was in place was at least partly – from the paperwork mostly – put there so that posh people living locally weren’t offended by the sight of a scruffy block of 1970s flats.

I spent most of Wednesday morning in tears, and then had to go and be interviewed for a job. Not surprisingly, I didn’t do especially well at the job interview.
lexin: (Default)
2017-06-09 08:36 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Election result is a hung parliament - fun and games ahead, and, I'd guess, another election in a year to eighteen months when it all falls apart.
lexin: (Default)
2017-06-08 01:40 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Have voted. Go me. Fingers crossed.
lexin: (Default)
2017-05-20 06:16 pm
Entry tags:

Update

I am very slowly ripping my DVD collection into soft copies. Sigh.

Currently watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which is the first HP film I came across in my collection and I wanted a change from endless things to do with Sherlock Holmes. Honestly, there’s not a film or TV series with Sherlock Holmes in the title that I don’t buy. From Sherlock Holmes’s Smarter Brother, through Jeremy Brett, to the Hammer version of the Hound of the Baskervilles, you name it, I’ve got it. I think I must have five different versions of the Hound.

In other news, I still don’t have a job. One of these days someone will have to be fooled into taking me on.

Kitty is a happy kitty.
lexin: (Default)
2017-05-16 01:33 pm
Entry tags:

Update

I have started ripping my DVDs having lost the soft copies I had amassed when I had to reinstall my operating system. It’s tedious work, but I should have a more complete set of the DVDs I own when I’ve finished.

What I won’t have is the ‘illegal’ soft copies I’d downloaded over the years. Boo! I shall have to find them again, though some are bound to have disappeared. It’s a bit annoying, but I’ll learn to live with it. I am copying the soft versions to an external hard drive as I go along, as I learn from my terrible mistakes. Always make a back-up! At least my documents were backed up to the cloud, so that’s not an issue.

In other news, there is no other news.

Smokey is doing well, though she did give me a scare by having diarrhoea for a couple of days. I think she’d got into my left over milk from my morning cereal and upset her tummy. That seems to have settled, thankfully. Silly kitty. I’ve also started giving her a more expensive dry food, as she wouldn’t eat the cheaper Tesco’s own brand dry food. Just turned her little furry nose up and refused to countenance it. We had a Mexican stand-off for a few days and then I caved. That cat has a backbone of steel.
lexin: (Default)
2017-05-11 04:35 pm
Entry tags:

Update

Still applying for jobs. Still not getting any. I get the odd interview, but so far none have been successful. I’ve got one interview outstanding since March – they interviewed me in March and I still don’t have the outcome. But then one of my FB friends applied for a Civil Service job last June and started a week ago, so I’m not quite losing hope on that one.

In other news, there is no real other news.

Smokey is very well, full of beans and cat food. She’s currently asleep on the sofa – we had a lovely cuddle this morning, but then I had to get up from my recumbent position and start doing some work on the computer. So she stretched out into my spot, perhaps thinking it would stay warm.

Oh, I know what I’m doing – I bought the AD&D 5e (Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition for those who aren’t geeks) and have been writing a basic scenario so we can see how it runs. In this I’ve been assisted by my friend Patrick who is such a geek he even out-geeks me, and he calculated everything on his character sheet out by hand to ensure that I wasn’t cheating him out of any advantages his character should have.

What between him and me, we managed to spot a bug in the computer program I’m using to roll up characters, which made us both very happy. We’re strange like that.
lexin: (Default)
2017-04-18 02:19 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Our Prime Minister, Theresa May, has called a snap general election for June 8. Because we don't have enough shitty politics going on as it is.

She's picked that date because her party (the Conservatives) are so far ahead in the polls that she thinks they are unassailable and the opposition (Labour) are in what you might kindly call disarray largely (IMO) because the Blairite right of the party are hell bent on undermining the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. From this you might guess (correctly) that I loathe Blair and his followers with a deep, poisonous loathing.

We can but wait to find out what happens.
lexin: (Default)
2017-04-06 10:20 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

My computer has been a nightmare. Latest game was just going black, and it was by accident that I remembered that I’d left the HDMI plugged in to the television, and that was causing the problem. I did have, though, to reinstall my anti-virus program and hopefully that’ll last a while. I hate it when my computer collapses like this, it’s just a nightmare.

I must reset when it goes to black, though, because currently it does so if I turn away for more than three minutes. I live alone with Smokey and I’m sure she’s not interested in what I have on my screen, except for the background screen of kittens. I can’t enjoy the kittens if it goes to black in three minutes.
lexin: (Default)
2017-04-05 06:44 pm
Entry tags:

Sigh

I have been having one of my occasional computer meltdowns.

It started with my PC making a strange buzzing noise when I tried to listen to music. I put up with this for a while. Then it started to slow down, as if either I didn’t have enough RAM (one can never have quite enough RAM, but at 8MB (or is it 16?) I do have enough for most purposes). Or it could have been a messed up PSU or a grabby background program. Still don’t know which.

So I tried to put it right, but it got worse and worse, and in the end I have had to reinstall the operating system, and then reinstall my major programs, assuming I can remember what they are. Thankfully I’ve a record of most of the reference numbers, and I pay for M$ Office 365, so I can install that as much as I want. Until my eyes bubble, as they say. Reinstalling Win 10 was a minor pest, but I found how I could do it without annoying my poor sad brain.

Now I’m reinstalling my Campaign Cartographer files, which is a program for designing cities, overland areas and dungeons for roleplaying games. It’s a great program, but seriously takes a lot of installing as it comes in little sections which have to be installed in the right order or they go weird. Pretty maps, though. Very nice for the gamer who likes maps. My Mum, who loved maps, would have adored it.
lexin: (Default)
2017-03-15 07:36 pm
Entry tags:

Update

Still no job. Sigh. Still trying hard to find one, eventually someone’s got to be fooled into taking me on.

In other news Smokey gave me a scare by not having a poo for two days recently. I was all set to take her to the vet to check for a blockage of some kind when she finally gave way and did the biggest poo I’ve seen a small cat do. You would have thought she was the size of a Rottweiler.
lexin: (Default)
2017-02-28 02:27 pm
Entry tags:

Redemption redux

I’m safely back from [livejournal.com profile] redemption_con; the journeys were totally straightforward and the trains were on time there and back.

I enjoyed the convention. Numbers seemed down (if you like a fan-run convention do go along to Redemption in 2019, it runs better with more people) and the convention over-organised for the numbers (at times there were nine streams of events), but that didn’t bother me. I just went along to what appealed to me and dodged anything that didn’t.

I spent a lot of time with [personal profile] legionseagle and [personal profile] julesjones over the weekend, and with various other people whose LJ and DW names I have forgotten. Much gossip was gossed.

Guests were Dr Lynette Nusbacher, Steve Lycett , Miranda Gower-Qian, Thalia Evans and David Wake. Probably you’ve never heard of any of them, I had only heard of Dr Lynette who is one of the presenters of the wargame TV show “Time Commanders”. She was lovely, though I didn’t go to any of her talks she was very nice and approachable when out and about and she always wears lovely clothes, which she told me mostly come from TK Maxx.

The only complaint I heard about the food offerings in the restaurant was from the two people I know who can’t cope with spices. All the cheap restaurant meals (Chinese, Indian and Mexican) were not suitable for them. But they had the option of pizzas in the bar, though one person did mention that it was a bit same-y to have a plain pizza two nights running. I liked the desserts on the cheap restaurant meals, the fudge cake was yummy, and they were quite happy to supply cream if asked.

One night I had the New York hot dog pizza and that was very nice, though I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so physically hot for some reason, and hot cheese is a really hot thing when you bite into it.

The carvery baps were very good, decent portions, as were the sandwich bar options.

Breakfasts were adequate mass catering, though I liked the fact that they were frying eggs practically on demand.

Other things: yes, some of the panels were under attended, but I put that down to the convention being somewhat under attended overall and the sometimes nine streams meaning that people were spread a bit thin. The panels I attended went off well, even if there weren’t that many there. I thought six streams would be fine for the number we had attending, with room to expand it if more sign up.

I forgot about slash Pictionary. I’d have been there if I’d remembered.

One thing I would like to see for Redemption 19 is a slash/adult stream as there’s no general slash con (that I know of) being run in the UK currently.
lexin: (Default)
2017-02-15 02:32 pm
Entry tags:

Looking for work

Still no news on the jobs front. I put in a couple of applications where I was hoping for an interview (even if only on the ‘pity the poor disabled’ front) but have heard nothing yet on either of them. Sigh. So I put in a three more today. I must say, some interfaces are much harder than they need be. London Borough of Waltham Forest, I’m looking at you.

I had a long wait in the doctors yesterday waiting to give a blood sample. I arrived at 10:10, and was number 65 – it’s a take a numbered ticket and wait system. The current number on the screen was 79 – of the previous 100. Nightmare.

It took over two hours for the phlebotomists to work through the numbers to get to me, and I was last but one of the people in the room. Phlebotomy in that doctors (it’s not my normal one, my normal practice does not offer that service) is only on weekday mornings, so they stop people taking numbers when they reckon they’ve got enough to finish at 1pm. Anyone who comes late has to come back the following day. They used to have three staff on, but yesterday they only had two. I don’t know if that’s down to staff holidays or whether we’ve had staff cuts in that doctors.

In other news, I’ve knitted myself a pullover. It even fits, which is a surprise. Plan for next project is a beanie with beads, though I could not find the right kind of tooth floss for the system that [livejournal.com profile] aunty_marion showed me. So I’ve ordered some crochet hooks as there’s another system using them that could work. I’m also warned that cats (hello Smokey!) are a hazard to bead work.
lexin: (Default)
2017-01-25 02:53 pm
Entry tags:

Update

I am so bored with applying for jobs, I’m afraid my boredom shows in the applications. It’s very hard to remain ‘up’ and ‘bubbly’ for weeks on end. And what’s with this desire that applicants should be ‘bubbly’ anyway? I suspect it’s a dog whistle for ‘female’ as it tends to crop up in administrator posts, or receptionist posts.

In other news, there is very little other news.

We played Call of Cthulhu last weekend, and had a good time. Our little party of three danced around the edge of confronting the gribblies (generic name for creatures from another world) refusing to go into the ancient stables, the deserted chapel or the sinister house.

My character (a doctor) and my friend Jo's (a dilettante) both saw visions when we looked between two standing stones with suspicious scratches on them. Visions like that never presage anything good.

Finally, we had climbed over the wall of the sinister house and through the creepy woods so often that our luck gave out and Jo's character stepped on a bear trap and it closed on her leg. Ooops! My character did what he could, but we had to get her to hospital and explain the injury as best we could.

I think the gribblies may be winning.
lexin: (Default)
2016-11-11 12:20 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


John McCrae
lexin: (Default)
2016-11-10 04:39 pm
Entry tags:

Sigh

I discovered today that my Aunt Irene died on the 1st of November – I got a letter from her son who lives in Australia. She didn’t have a note of my phone number, but had my address. Odd, because I put my phone number (and email address) into all my Christmas cards, and I always sent her one.

She was a dear. Straight spoken, always, but someone you could rely on in a pinch. She was amazing when my father died in 1997. She came down to our place from Doncaster and helped me and my then sister in law nurse my father until he died. For eight weeks, she was there, talking to him, fetching drugs (and his doctors were always updating his pain meds), cooking, whatever needed doing. She and I did most of it, because my sister in law’s children were toddlers meaning she couldn’t stay for long and my mother was no help because she’d disappeared into a weird 1941 world of rations and blackout. I’d always loved Auntie Irene for her wit and her kindness, but after that she could do no wrong in my eyes.

I probably won’t be able to go to her funeral, what with the cat’s teeth and new glasses, but I will raise a glass to her on the day.

International news

Trump won? TRUMP won?! What madness is this?

He’s a lying liar who lies like a cheap rug. I could not forgive him that impersonation he did of that disabled journalist, let alone his attitude to women. What a scuzz-bucket the man is.
lexin: (Default)
2016-08-31 02:07 pm
Entry tags:

Update

I took my darling Smokey for her annual kitty wellness check up with the local vets. Her general health is excellent, though she is a bit podgy (5.02 kilos) and yet again I need to cut down her kibble. I’m sure it’s those treats; probably if we stuck to food she’d lose that weight.

The down side is that she has dental disease on two bottom teeth either side and will have to have them removed pretty sharpish. I have made an appointment for 28 September for this. Probable cost (sharp intake of breath) anything between £800 and £1,000 once you’ve taken into account blood tests, x-rays, anaesthetic and so on. This is more than my monthly income, and will have to come out of savings. She is insured, but I don’t think it covers dental problems; in fact I’m sure it doesn’t because I just checked. Interestingly, it covers things like acupuncture and homeopathy, neither of which work.
lexin: (Default)
2016-08-02 06:13 am
Entry tags:

Uodate

It’s 5am and I have given up any pretence of sleeping. I have no idea why I have insomnia tonight. As has the cat, who is meowing round me as if I might have a clue what she wants. It’s probably food, but Smokey is not a cat who fusses for her food usually. I have put food out, but she’s not eating it. Maybe she’s just worried about me.

It doesn’t help that I have in some way banjaxed my back and hip. They are ouchy. And I’ve had a couple of goes of cramp in my right calf, leaving that sore. I found some painkillers in the back of a cupboard and they’re about cutting in now.

In other news I’m playing a couple of computer games. Skyrim retains its interest, not least because you don’t have to rush around beating creatures up to get anywhere. Building your own house can take up hours of innocent fun. Not so Shadow of Mordor. Oh, what a dull game that is if you’re not very quick with your button recognition. I frequently mix up square and circle, and thus end up dead more often than alive. Plus, the baddies level up if you don’t kill them quickly and I’ve ended up with a couple of bosses at 20th level that appear whenever I do and I can’t kill them because they’ve about 25 supporters who appear likewise. Largest number of orcs I can do away with is about six. More than that and I’m outnumbered. So it gets a bit boring.

My brother bought me Arcania for my birthday, and that’s a bit more interesting. Doesn’t require me to learn any button combinations to hit things, and that’s always good. Not as pretty as Shadow of Mordor though, or rather, not as well drawn because I wouldn’t call Mordor pretty but they’ve really put a lot of work into how it looks.

There’s another game a friend bought me for my birthday, a game set in modern times, but I’ve put it somewhere and don’t remember where it is or what it was called. Maybe it’s in a box I still haven’t unpacked from the decorating.
lexin: (Default)
2016-05-10 01:44 pm
Entry tags:

Update

On April 30th [livejournal.com profile] gloria1 and I went for my birthday tea at the St Pancras Hotel - I totally recommend it, the tea was brilliant, the scones warm, the sandwiches toothsome and the cakes excellent.

So that was good.

On the way home, though, I fell down a short flight of stairs at Kings Cross and was taken to University College Hospital in an ambulance. I mean, how embarrassing and ouchy. I don't recommend it as a hobby as I fell down at 17:30 and didn't get home until 23:00 (UCH are very thorough and they wouldn't let me go until they were sure I could climb stairs). I was lucky that [livejournal.com profile] gloria1 was there as I don't know how I'd have managed if I'd been alone.

Since then I've spent my time pottering about the flat watching my bruises turn green.
lexin: (Default)
2016-04-27 01:56 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)



[personal profile] legionseagle writes more meaningfully about Hillsborough than I can. I just cried, at last they got the truth.

Scousers never buy the Sun.