feanelwa: (braids)
-booking.com have changed my airport hotel booking for free, going above and beyond what they said they could. They are great.

-Solitair phoned me today at 17:44. My phone was on silent so I missed it. They didn't leave a message. They have also deleted my "what gives?" posts on their forum. I have this sense that they are going to try and intimidate me into something tomorrow, possibly involving kicking me off the holiday without a refund and suing me for every penny I've got for slander or something, which wouldn't hold water but I *didn't take screenshots* so I couldn't prove it. That's the worst case scenario anyway, we will see what happens. Whatever happens is almost guaranteed to completely fuck me up for the day so bang goes work.

Whoa hold on. From a legal services provider's website:
A. In both libel and slander cases, you need to prove that:
-The allegations have been published to one or more persons (other than yourself)
-The allegations refer to you – either that you are named, pictured or are identifiable in some other way
-That the words tend to lower you in the eyes of right thinking members of society.

So doesn't that mean that if I for example went into my neighbour's yard and weed on his van*, and he went on the internet and said I was an annoying pain in the ass who weed on people's vans and I had some fallout from that like for example my boss saw it and sacked me, that I could sue him for libel? Even if it was true and I started it by weeing on his van? Is that really how it works?

Further to this point, why isn't Ed Milliband suing the pants off Paul Dacre right now?

-Conference was pretty good, lots of cake.

*I'm trying to think of something here that he couldn't just get me arrested for in the first place, and that's as close as I can get. I would never actually wee on my neighbour's van or any other of his possessions.

EDIT: thank you to the friends who are making helpful comments! Very reassuring!
feanelwa: (braids)
-Did not get funding for job in Denmark. So am staying in UK, probably. Helpfully, the tory government are being even more wingnut than before this week. Yay, I'm going to end up living in a right-wing theocracy and I now have no way to escape. Also I have to apply for a bunch of jobs.

-Ready for next attempt to get a sample of some idiots' materials. Sample prep equipment fully booked. Can do nothing.

-Have to do a talk at a conference tomorrow. Haven't written it yet. Spent yesterday in bed too depressed to move, so I have to do it today. Still barely functioning. Also the door closing device in the office is broken and has become a door slamming device.

-Lost at slalom, again. Wankers mansplained things at me. Wish I had hit them.

-My mother had a go at my friends on Facebook. I wish she would stop trying to make me end up friendless, soulless and wealthy.

-Solitair holidays revised the itinerary of my holiday so I come back a day earlier and are maintaining the original dates were an "admin error". So not only have I lost a day of holiday, I have lost £56 of hotel booking and £10 of prebooked train ticket, because the flight home lands at 23:55. And they are being assholes about it. And they are not members of ABTA because singles holiday companies are playing to such a niche and miserable market that they don't have to be, they know they can just screw us over and if they all do it we have nowhere else to go. I complained on their forum. No change. So now I am going to be going on a holiday with a company that hates me, having identified myself as somebody who is capable of negative emotion and speaking independently and therefore a target for bullying should there turn out to be an orange-faces and Essex-boys squad, and I will be thinking the whole time of that wasted money. That will be relaxing.

-Didn't apply for the job in Australia, was too depressed.
feanelwa: (braids)
It occurs to me that LJ is the place to ask this. I got an eBay from the Isle of Man and I have 3 Manx stamps going free if any collector types want them before I put the envelope in the recycle bin. There is a bridge, a plane and a dog, if that's any use.


Jul. 20th, 2013 11:31 am
feanelwa: (braids)
There is a new cat in the neighbourhood. It is white with a ginger tail and it's been watching me wash up for a week or so. Next door's little kid gave it some chicken the other day and I thought, hmm, that's not a good idea. But it came back today and let me get close enough to see it is skin and bone. It has a pink diamante collar on with a little heart and a bell and a tag I haven't managed to read yet, but at the other end it has big fluffy testicles. I reckon this cat must be 6-9 months old from the size of its head and ears compared to the rest of it, so it should have been neutered by now.

So it is somebody's cat, but a really not very useful somebody. Possibly relatedly, a new baby arrived a few doors up the hill a few weeks ago. Or possibly not related.

What do you think I should do? I have given it some tuna because it was just so skinny. I'm not averse to gaining a cat but I don't know how pissed the owners would be.
feanelwa: (braids)
I went to another slalom and got some points, and more importantly learned some stuff and got braver. This was with the help and then unhelp of a bloke who decided he was going to flirt and be "helpful" and follow me around like a dog, and then epically failed by trying to show me how to do something and making me capsize. Handy hint: if a woman is shouting "no no don't paddle us into there stop paddling go backwards stop it stop it" and you keep paddling forwards, you have just marked yourself out as somebody who hears no as yes when it suits you, and she's not going to want to have sex with you, ever. Also, you are an idiot.

Then I came home and had the obligatory two days of being unable to move or think, which are now wearing off, just about. My car also developed a worrying squeal which is apparently the brake caliper on the right hand side giving up, so that needs doing when Matt has some spare time. This also means I'm going to have to get the train to my mum's house to help her get home from hospital next week after her cataract is done (grrr) and I can't go to [livejournal.com profile] aiwendel's party at the weekend, though to be honest I think if I have another weekend away from home I might die of exhaustion anyway and parties are hard.

Also I ordered a big box of choc to get me through the next couple of months of working hard while feeling like crap, but the courier crammed it in the blue bin in the sunshine, so now I have a fridge full of congealed remnants that used to be good chocolate, and a complaint open with Thorntons customer services :( whyyyy must people be so stupid?

Right I must sleep, for I have data to process and funding applications to write. And camping stuff to clean, still.
feanelwa: (braids)
Last weekend I was at a slalom and got a proper slalom boat second hand so I should do better soon. This weekend I am off to another one.

Yesterday and today I have been dealing with Super-Extrovert Masters Student again. I am *knackered*. Also I have been suppressing nervous tics for two days so my face is making up for it :( hopefully it will be ok by tomorrow so I can drive to the river.

The sample prep equipment that hasn't worked for my entire job has finally been fixed, with three moths of job to go, so now Nice Boss is getting quite anxious that I get samples and go places to get data. Yes. Your lack of organisation is not my urgency, and stuff. However, this does not mean I am not stressed. *twitch* *excessive sleeping* *acne*

The weather is hot, so Sheffield has started its usual summer habits of screaming at each other in public, driving badly and using the horn instead of the brakes, playing crap music on top volume and leaving beer cans strewn over the entire town. Yay. My neighbour also adds smoking outside my bedroom window. Thank you, assholes.

What else? I am knackered from exercise and therefore feeling incredibly sleepy while having to get on with stuff at top speed of snail pace, which means I am even more knackered and neglecting basic tasks like washing dishes, which means I am even more stressed and depressed. I am taking Thursday as a day off this week so I can at least make the place reasonable.

Bloody extroverts.
feanelwa: (braids)
Holy mackerel, LJ logged me out and I didn't notice. I haven't been ignoring everybody's friends-only posts for a few days, I am just a dork, sorry!
feanelwa: (braids)
Dear LJ people, here is a lay summary of the Denmark project. I need to write one for the application and I am bored of what Word looks like so I am doing it here because it is less intimidating. Also, you lot can read it and find out what I do, or tell me if it's incomprehensible.

This project will produce 3D reconstructions of the patterns of crystal defects formed in metals with the most common, cubic crystal structure, when they are put under stress and then again when they are heated to develop the defect structure, as during many metal processing methods. Samples of pre-treated aluminium will be put in the electron microscope and tomography will be performed to produce 3D models. We will study all three different sets of patterns that crystal defects can become tangled into after a short time of initial stress, depending on the orientation of the cubic crystal structure relative to the direction of applied stress. Previously people have only been able to study these from 2D images, leading to problems such as only being able to study flat parts of the defect pattern properly, when the important action is often happening in the complicated 3D parts. Ultimately this project will effectively test the rules derived from 2D studies and help the design of new materials with better strength and related properties through improved understanding of defect behaviour.

Google translate made this so some of it is wrong: (Yes we need to put this bit in Danish arghggh)

Dette projekt vil producere 3D rekonstruktioner af de mønstre af krystal defekter dannet i metaller med de mest almindelige, kubisk krystalstruktur, når de er sat under stress, og derefter igen, når de opvarmes til at udvikle defekt struktur som under mange metal forarbejdningsmetoder. Prøver af forbehandlet aluminium vil blive sat i elektronmikroskop og tomografi vil blive udført for at producere 3D-modeller. Vi vil studere alle tre forskellige sæt af mønstre, krystal defekter kan blive viklet ind i efter en kort tid af indledende stress, afhængigt af orienteringen af ​​kubisk krystalstruktur i forhold til retningen af ​​påførte spænding. Tidligere mennesker har kun været i stand til at studere disse fra 2D-billeder, hvilket fører til problemer såsom kun at kunne studere flade dele af defekten mønster ordentligt, når den vigtigste handling ofte sker i de komplicerede 3D ​​dele. I sidste ende vil dette projekt reelt teste reglerne stammer fra 2D undersøgelser og hjælpe design af nye materialer med bedre styrke og relaterede egenskaber gennem bedre forståelse af defekt adfærd.
feanelwa: (braids)
Car: Matt is going to fix her for me next week :) yays
Boat: still on the stairs but the garage is most of the way ready to move her in and start fixing her.
Human: she has a horrible cough and is struggling with hills but slowly getting better. Need to start looking after her spine and teeth more again.
feanelwa: (braids)
EDIT: Ahhh it has come right! I phoned mechanic ex going "halp halp what is going on it's all gone wrong" and he came and helped! We went and told the dealer about the suspension bit and he went, hmm, this should not have happened. Then we went to the Skoda garage and they had started doing the anti-roll but not the rest. So they are going to do the anti-roll and then mechanic ex is going to do the rest for me and charge me for the parts! Awwwh he is not so bad after all.

And now I have learned not to go to the Skoda garage but to find a smaller garage who will do it cheaper. But first, to ask him! I am so so so so pleased, he has just saved me about £600!

Original post:
You know I bought a car and mechanic ex completely stood me up so I ended up buying it without any help from somebody who knows what they are doing?

Well, it went in for a service. Results:

-They can't undo the sump plug. So they want to replace the sump. £266.09. I am suspicious and have told them not to do this. This does mean they can't change the oil but there is a bloke my colleagues use who does this through the dipstick hole instead. So I am not hugely bothered about that. Also, I allegedly have some kind of warranty that covers engine stuff. I will be checking this shortly. In fact I might go home early and do that since I now FEEL LIKE SHIT and can't write this stupid proposal anymore today. THANK YOU MEN.
-The anti-roll bar in the suspension is apparently held together with jubilee clips. £153.66 to get one that is actually one piece put in. Grudgingly yes.
-Back washer jet doesn't work, £15.32. Go on then.
-Front brake disc pads are down to 75% so they want to do the whole disc. £189.00. Err no.
-The garage replaced the wishbone on the driver's side front suspension. They did not thread it in properly so now it is cross threaded and to fix it they would have to replace whole housing. What?? No.
-Alternator belt is cracked, £60.88 to replace. Said yes because this is battery related so could result in me being stuck in the middle of nowhere.
-Gasket around the lid where you put the oil in leaks. They want £67.78. For a gasket?! No! Somebody can do this cheaper.
-Rear suspension bump stops are broken, want £108.31. Only useful if you drive around fully laden. I do not.
-Plus £125 for service which would have been £986.04. WTF. Now I have said the yesses and noes they have charged me £69.87 for diagnosing stuff which I suppose is fair enough, and not charged me the service since they couldn't do it.

How much is a private gender reassignment surgery? It would probably be a worthwhile investment.
feanelwa: (braids)
More stuff happened!

-I drove Little Car to the river and did the slalom. I also donked Little Car into the kerb and made a dent in the hubcap and a scratch in the wheel rim. So far the tyre hasn't deflated itself and one of the nice mechanic blokes who was at the slalom looked at it and said it would probably be ok as long as the tyre didn't go flat and the tracking hadn't gone off (it hadn't). He also found the tyre pressure to be too low on all of them and the windscreen wiper blades to be in too poor a condition to have passed the MOT. Whom does one report garages to for doing crap MOTs?

-I fell in the river at the slalom and managed to swallow a mouthful of water while trying to get out. So now I have leptospirosis. So I have doxycycline and everything is difficult and my head hurts. But I haven't thrown up since Monday morning which is good.

-So I have cancelled a lot of work stuff.

-On the other hand I have booked Little Car in for a service at the Skoda garage next week because I found the service book and it is 2 years overdue. Ahaha. Fortunately the cambelt is only 25,000 miles old otherwise I would be having serious words.

-Tesco brought me lots of food on Monday evening and I am too ill to cook it. Or wash up. Or get to the blood test which I have thoughtfully been sent to the hospital for tomorrow. Fortunately one of the canoeing friends is taking me for the blood test but for the other things: I hate everything.

-At least though I managed the herculean task of putting the shopping in the fridge. And today cleaned the kit from the weekend which was starting to get a bit stinky what with having been thrown in the river with me in it.
feanelwa: (braids)
This week, in brief:
-Somebody at work was incredibly shit for one of their students and completely let him down by failing to turn up, so I rescued the poor bloke and analysed his samples for him since I was the only person trained on the machine who was around, and now the first person is trying to be incredibly shit at me without actually having a conversation. I find this amusing but at the same time am rather pissed off.
-I bought a car! It is a little blue Skoda Fabia. I think she is named Rosie or possibly Plodbee because my phone autocorrects Skoda to Plodb. And she is awesome!
-And I filled her up with diesel, and she's happy, though I got covered in diesel because there was no tissue at the garage so now my hands are not happy.
-And I taxed her, and lo everything is good. And the nice DVLA lady has very kindly put the change-of-owner bit of paper in the internal mail to Swansea for me so I will get the right docs in the post in about 3 weeks.
-And I drove around and have not squished anybody yet.
-And my next mission is probably going to be Halfords, for coolant, because she is down to the min level in the tank. I also need to check the oil before I go in in case I need that too, and I need to put the right soapy stuff in the screen washer hole.
feanelwa: (braids)
Oh yes, because I had a good day I am now owed several bad days. So today my skin has started making itself ill again (I still have reserve antibiotics, screw you), the one remaining ion miller has started to fail and I can completely see how it will never get fixed either, and it is still bloody snowy outside. STOP IT. I can do without.
feanelwa: (braids)
I am hoooome! And kayaking again, and having driving lessons! So I can go to competitions when I have fixed up my slalom boat and got a car. Yaaaay.
feanelwa: (braids)
Reasons I like Denmark:
-My boss is really, really nice (so is my boss in Sheffield)
-Denmark is nice (Yorkshire is nice too, mostly)
-The project makes me think again and it's like being able to walk when you've been trapped inside for weeks
-The other people who work there want to achieve something good and not just get one over on each other all the time while pretending to do their job, unlike Sheffield
-Tories not currently turning it into 1930s Germany

Reasons I don't like Denmark:
-No rivers you can do slalom on! So no slalom scene. So I would have to go into marathon or sprint.
-My canoeing mates! They do not live here. And whenever I talk about maybe leaving the kids go "nooo! But you're nice!" Awwww shit this is difficult.
-Might have met a Man, he lives in Yorkshire, argh.

Reasons I really really need to talk to Andy again:
-The above decision, he would understand it all
-Have spent a week mucking about with OpenGL and graphics cards and annoying libraries and he could have done it in 2 days so with him to talk to I could have at least saved a few days
-I miss him
feanelwa: (braids)
It is Andy's 2nd deathiversary today, and I am not feeling as miserable as I thought I would. It has been more poignant than miserable. This may be because I had to do some stuff today so Denmark would work. But anyway:
-On Thursday evening I went back to the chemist and the literate assistant who is there in the evenings found my prescription was there all along so it is ok
-Last night I went to the pool and my 10-year-old personal trainers made me do lots of swimming by pulling off the spray deck, sinking my boat and laughing uproariously. Twice. Also I made a snow cat.
-This morning I managed to wash hair and clothes, so I can pack tomorrow
-And I turned on the Windows laptop so I could print out my boarding pass and spent 4 hours doing updates before it would do anything. On the plus side I know it still works, and I have a boarding pass.
-Then I was incredibly unbelievably knackered and fell asleep for a couple of hours and woke up at 8:30pm feeling slightly sick. So now I have ordered Chinese which will come up the road in the arms of a valiant delivery man at about 10:30 because...
-...it's raining! The snow is going away! So I will be able to fly on Monday! And can do all the things like topping up electricity before I go without having to stomp through the snow!
-So I am going to the river tomorrow morning which meshes rather badly with eating dinner at 10:30pm today but never mind, I had a nap.
feanelwa: (braids)
So today, work has not yet happened. Instead I:
-Had nightmares until 8:30am turning off the alarm in my sleep, thank you unhelpful brain
-Went to the chemist to get the extra medicine I need to take to Denmark so I don't run out halfway through, which I phoned up the doctors about last week and the receptionist said phone the chemist. So I did that last Wednesday and the person on the phone said "Yes, we can do that for you, it will be here by Monday". So today I went to pick it up and they denied all knowledge of it. Conversation:

Assistant: "You're not due for it yet"
Me: "I phoned up and asked for an extra one because I'm going away for work for a month and I'm going to run out halfway through. I phoned the doctors first and the receptionist told me to phone you instead"
[turns round to people in back of shop]
A: "APPARENTLY she's going away for a month and rung up and asked for an extra one"
[general chaos ensues. 4 other customers come in, get served, leave. Finally she comes back]
A: "well we don't know anything about it. When did you phone up?"
Me: "Last week, on Wednesday"
A: "Who did you talk to?"
Me: [looks for name tag, doesn't see one] "the receptionist at the doctors, I didn't ask for the name of the person I talked to here"
[pharmacist's assistant comes out]
PA: "When did you ring up?"
Me: "Wednesday last week"
PA: "Who did you talk to?"
Me: "I don't know, I didn't recognise the voice"
[more chaos]
Slightly politer assitant: "We'll ring the doctors and sort it out, don't worry. Have you got somewhere you can go?"
Me: [forgetting for the moment that doctors are not at work on Thursday afternoon] "Well actually I'm going to work"
SPA: "Ok, come back later then. What time will you be back?"
Me: "Half past five ish, after work sort of time"
SPA: "Ok then, off you go, we'll sort it out for you"

I bloody hope they do sort it out otherwise I'm going to be coming off SSRIs in front of my new boss while trying to do difficult work I haven't done in 5 years :/
feanelwa: (braids)
Why today is shit:
-I went to see the person the locum GP referred me to about the nervous tic. Would 6 sessions of CBT help? NO. NO THEY WOULDN'T. Nor would attending a course on how to live a healthy lifestyle and manage stress. So now I have made an appointment with my actual GP, not a locum with no brain cells to rub together, to talk about trying the medication and techniques that NHS Choices sets out in plain English and the locum appeared never to have heard of or thought of looking up. On the 25th March. Mmm, timely. NOT.

-Then I went to the Co-op, to get something for lunch since I have finally defrosted the fridge yesterday and now it is empty, where they had just had a lorry full of food delivered to all over the shop floor so nobody could get anywhere, then an old idiot dropped a bottle of milk all over the place so somebody had to come and clear it up while the queue got longer and longer. No no, my time is absolutely worthless, hold me up as long as you like, asshole.

-Then I went to work, where I had a meeting with my boss. "What came of the R005 sessions that we paid £1000 a day for?" I didn't get trained properly and was left to sit there and try intelligent guesses while the only person I could ask for help failed to answer the phone and turn up when he said he would, and went home at 4pm. So it took me 4 fucking days to characterise the symptoms of the problem well enough to show them to somebody on a different continent who gave me some actual constructive advice. And then when I had followed that advice the PAT testers broke the bloody microscope.

-Then I went down to book some microscope time on the less extortionate microscope and found there is one day free - today. So we got on it today. Yes, 3pm is a good day to start an experiment you haven't successfully done before, on a day you've forgotten your work access card so can't go on beyond 5:15 in case you get locked out of the building for hours. Isn't it? On the plus side, got further on the experiment than I had got before. On the minus side, no goddamn data. And of course the helpful person had gone home early. Again.

-And the bloke I am trying to chase up about this piece of equipment that people are leaning on me to fix like they're the princess of the world and I'm Cinderella? The one who said "oh yes I'll answer your email" when I gave up and wrote a script and screwed up all my courage to phone him last week? Hasn't answered. So I have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN.

Really, doc, if there was a less stressful job I would do it. But other jobs are even worse. Perhaps you could prescribe a magic machine that makes people stop being useless and putting me in a position where I can do nothing but feel shit? How about that?

I wonder how many of these things would never happen if I had a penis.
feanelwa: (braids)
It is very difficult to explain my job using the 1000 commonest English words, but here is my attempt. May contain idolatry if you're bothered. This would have been a lot easier if people used the wrods "metal", "machine" or "material" more often.

I speak to a tall god in a cold room that eats ice we get from the air for her. At the god's head, stuff is broken into stuff-sons and stuff-daughters. The stuff-daughters are pushed down a track toward a tiny piece of questions in the god's stomach. The stuff-daughters meet the questions very fast and come out with answers. They are pulled down through mirrors to a place at the god's feet where they can be caught and seen and I can ask them what they did. What they say tells me about the questions they answered. This is how I find out about the questions in the piece. At the end of the day I thank the god for helping me find the questions and the god is happy.

My friends who gave me the piece with the questions are pleased to hear what the stuff-daughters told me, and they can use what I found from the god to make new stuff that fixes problems for people and make things better. They can't talk to the stuff-daughters by themselves, I have to listen for them. They are only good at talking to other things.

Sometimes the god is too sad and can't help, and we bring the key-man to help her. Then we are all sad until she is happy again. But while she is sick I can make more pieces with more questions for when she is well.
feanelwa: (braids)
Transcript of a radio piece for Eli:
Read more... )
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