Dec. 19th, 2016 03:41 pm
susanreads: Pooh with his head stuck in a honeypot, "Oh Bother" (oh bother)
I'm used to having a few small, transient bruises of unknown origin (perhaps when I bump into things?) that don't hurt except when prodded. The largest number of exceptions to this pattern, or Bruises of Note, that I can remember is the 3 I've got now.

cut for TMI )

Speaking of Ow, Paracetamol note: if you know what Paracetamol tablets taste like, the soluble kind are so much better. The chemist didn't have the capulets (h/t [personal profile] spiralsheep), so I decided to give the effervescent ones a try, and it turns out that the taste of bubbles (carbonic acid?) overcomes the taste of the active ingredient. Try it! (if you need OTC painkillers that aren't aspirin, not for fun, obv.)


Aug. 9th, 2014 10:08 pm
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
I doubt anyone expects me to post here, but I do post comments sometimes, except for the past few weeks I haven't been, for a few reasons including that my internet access suddenly went from adequate to terrible. This was solved by decommissioning the old extension kit with which I first got on line, and keeping the router downstairs next to the phone instead; only possible because I finally got everything-I-use-the-internet-for working on my "new" laptop (Windows 7, has wifi) as opposed to the old tower (XP, no wifi). But that solution relied on a lashup with extension leads and wires everywhere. Today I got a socket installed in a sensible place, so I can reach the switch and get the wires off the floor. Hurrah!

The same builder patched the ceiling over the stairs, so there isn't a hole in it and also no more is going to fall down. That was one of the other things that happened: sudden crash late at night, rubble everywhere. Still some cleaning to do!
susanreads: Julia set (detail, bright background) (maths)
My contract with my ISP includes 40GB data usage per calendar month (over the used-to-be-BT landline; I don't have one of those fancy phones). It's a big increase from my previous contract, where I was always paying by volume for extra usage. This summer I started paying attention to the figures on the bill.

have some statistics )

I just had to update the software again (disabling the Java that's already running? That's a bit extreme isn't it?), so I'll get some idea how much difference that made when I get my next bill.
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
So, a lot of things have happened since I last posted anything like regularly! And if I wait till I've Caught Up With Stuff, that'll be ... actually it might never happen. In lieu of a longer post that is ... not going to happen today, here are some brief notes, without links or anything.

My shoulder got better. I had shoulder pain that was identified as a rotator cuff injury early in the year, and it just kept getting worse until I had the steroid injection in May, then it gradually got better. I'd just stopped taking Paracetamol for it a few weeks ago when I fell over and hurt my back! But all my joints are back to their usual state of unreliableness now.

My new windows went in at the beginning of October, just in time for the nasty weather. I now have double-glazing in the kitchen for the first time, "obscured" glass in the bathroom for the first time, and windows I can open in the other rear-facing rooms for the first time since I gave up taking down getting somebody to take down the secondary panels in summer. Bye-bye, unfeasibly heavy secondary glazing, I won't miss you.

My benefits got sorted out. It felt like I spent the summer wrestling with the benefits agency's assumptions, but when I'd paid for the windows and did the change-of-circumstances form again, they got it right first time, for a change. So I'm back on full job-seeker benefits, yay! (Well, an actual job would be more yay, but you know).

In displacement activity news, I finished Gemcraft chapter 0.

Now I hit Post before I get distracted again:
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
I don't know how to start, so I guess I'll just start. I've been more-or-less keeping up with reading, but not writing anything here, for months. It started with a whole lot of offline things happening early this year, and now the stuff that specifically kept me from writing doesn't apply, but there's this inertia, you know?

I've made some, mostly slow and inadequate, progress with everything, but nothing is resolved! Agh! There are two things I'm willing to write about here that have made progress, though: the windows and my shoulder.

tl, dr )

In a couple of days the Proms, WOMAD, and the Olympics will all be on at the same time. Don't expect to hear from me for a while.
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks, mainly on the Tuesday before last.

That morning, when I tried to check my email I found that my internet wasn't working. It turned out that my phone was dead (the internet is via the originally-BT landline), so I had to find somewhere to call the Phone Co-op (who are also my ISP) from. They were great, I didn't have to talk directly to BT myself at all, which was a big plus, but I did have to find somewhere else to phone from later to find out what was happening (yes there are still people who don't have mobiles). Openreach (the BT spinoff that do the infrastructure maintenance) had said the engineer was on his way, so I went home to wait.

In the meantime, because there was a job application I needed to finish, I'd put the draft version on a memory stick and gone down to Ingeus (the "Work Programme" company) to use their internet. Thank FSM they moved to an office I can easily get to! I also got some feedback from my advisor, including the advice to ID as disabled and ask for the "Two Ticks" thing (which guarantees an interview to people with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria).

So that afternoon, the Openreach engineer turned up, did some tests indoors and determined that the problem was outside and went out to fix it. It took him about an hour while it got dark and started raining. Rather him than me! I was worried he'd be climbing poles in those conditions, but apparently not. Then he had some trouble testing it afterwards, but it worked! Hurrah!

A few days ago I got an email inviting me to an interview for that job. Of course because of the "Two Ticks" thing I only know they don't think I'm completely useless, not that I'm necessarily near the top of the list. It's at a reasonable time of day, but wearing interview clothes in this weather won't be fun, by golly.

The Xmas Radio Times double-issue arrived days ago, and I've barely thought about supplies; I need to start doing cards today, and I'm not sure I'll bother with decorating since there won't be anybody here but me.

Summary: interview this coming Thursday panic panic ah! Xmas in 2 weeks panic panic ah! *distracts self with free browser games*
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
I've had a rotten cold. It's pretty much over now except for the annoying cough, but for a while there, combined with all the Other Stuff, it was using up my cope to the extent that I was neglecting the housework and playing free browser games instead of doing anything useful (or sociable) that would take both energy and brain.

Part of the Other Stuff was Sudden Short-Notice Interview, which was a surprise. My (latest) adviser thought the job was "ideal", whereas I thought it was "very ambitious". I actually came out of the interview a lot more convinced that my skills and experience were relevant to the job, but obviously I didn't convince the interviewers. It's just down the hill, part-time, and mostly IT back-office work, which is me, but they want someone who can do project management and "customer care", which isn't.

Another part of Other Stuff was this (non-diplomatic email to $UTILITY-CO; translating into HTML loses some of the formatting):
cut for length )
(I haven't had a reply to the email, but the original problem has been sorted out. The guy at the bank had no problem with the voice recognition system, but waited at least 8 minutes before getting through to a person.)
susanreads: a butterfly on a flower (lilac) (summer)
Monday: I had to go to "Work Programme" (govt.'s latest get-people-into-work-without-creating-any-jobs scheme). It's a bit of a walk + 20-30 minute bus ride + walk away (I've been to the same building before) ... but because of roadworks, the bus ride took more like 40 minutes. In extreme (for England) heat, beating down on the glass windows with no shade. By the time I arrived I was in such a state of collapse, they're not going to be denying that I have health problems with commuting. Also I couldn't speak, and not only for the usual reason.

Tuesday: still severely hot. I didn't have to go out much, so I didn't.

Wednesday: hot hot hot. I couldn't manage more than about 10 minutes of my Tai Chi class at a time before sitting down for a rest, as well as water. At tea break I just had cold water and a biscuit. Exhausted. ... In the evening, still hot, clouding over, rain, SURPRISE THUNDERSTORM! (not actually surprising in retrospect)

Thursday, it was fresh out. Drizzling all day. Not too hot to cook. Since then it's got hot again but not as hot. Heavy and muggy on Friday.

Can we not have another of those any time soon, please?
susanreads: a butterfly on a flower (lilac) (summer)
I went to an annual garden party today ... on what turned out to be the wettest weekend for months. Most of the time we were playing (metaphorical) musical chairs in the parlour. Bet it'll be back to sweltering next weekend - unless I'm invited to a barbecue of course.


Jun. 11th, 2011 06:09 pm
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
My brother and sister-in-law are visiting tomorrow (while they're at this side of the country for a wedding) ...

I've spent hours cleaning and the place is still a tip, argh.

I don't think she's ever seen me with my summer haircut. That might be fun.

... so I probably won't be posting.
susanreads: a gate covered in snow (snow (gate))
On Monday I woke up and there was snow on the ground. Not a lot, but enough to cover everything. The previous few mornings, there'd just been a heavy frost.

Also on Monday, the laptop I'd been having trouble with stopped working altogether (with a blue-screen message that doesn't stay long enough to read - something about the registry and a hive, whatever that is). I'm now using an old clunker that can't load up-to-date software, and feeling deprived. I got so spoilt having the laptop for 3 years!

On Tuesday, it snowed properly. Variously snow, slush and ice everywhere. Snow drifting down. I had a call from the person who was supposed to come round and advise me about benefits: did I still want to do that?

Perhaps an hour later, she called again: looking out of the window, it was snowing harder. Gist of call: not driving in this. Visit postponed till next week. We're assuming it will be safe to drive then...

On Wednesday, it was snowing. I had a call from my Tai Chi instructor: the class is cancelled on account of some people can't make it (we only have about 6 people most weeks). Next week we'll meet at the usual time and then merge with another class. ...if that happens...

On Thursday, I delayed going out shopping in the hope that it would stop snowing. It didn't. By the time I got to the Oxfam shop, they'd closed early on account of snow.

On Friday, my footprints in the front yard were ice. I spent several minutes clearing the path to the gate before setting off towards town, so I could (i) get the gate open and (ii) not have ice to negotiate when I got back. I'd been keeping the spade inside the back door instead of in the shed just in case this happened.

I wasn't sure the (first Friday) farmers' market would be happening, but it did. With about half the usual stalls and even fewer customers. Apparently the regular (weekly) street market in town was cancelled.

Then I got a call in the afternoon, that the social event planned for that evening was postponed until a date to be decided.

I wonder what's next ...
susanreads: Pooh with his head stuck in a honeypot, "Oh Bother" (oh bother)
  • My laptop crashed on the 18th and has been flaky ever since; I think yesterday was the first day it didn't give me any trouble except for running slow. So I spent most of the day catching up on reading.

  • I've got a new health issue to worry about. Oh, joy.
    cut in case of TMI )

  • So this Wednesday (27th) I was already anxious about that, when I was going out to an event in the evening after a busy day, and my front door lock jammed. As in I pulled the door to, put the key in to lock it properly (it's a barrel lock) and the key wouldn't turn in either direction. This is the new lock I got in September.

    The friend who was giving me a lift had a go also and confirmed that it wasn't just me, so I had to leave it at "not properly locked, but I can't get in" and go to this event our group was hosting. I was somewhat distracted during. Also, the guy who installed the lock didn't answer his phone or return messages.

    We ended up calling somebody out of the Yellow Pages (ouch - not quite enough to be worth calling the insurance folks, considering the excess and my no claims bonus, but a lot more than the original lock), who (after all three of us failed to get the key to turn) opened the door with a Cunning Device. The Real Locksmith couldn't find anything to explain the jam - the lock's not faulty, but a different one would be more secure, apparently.

There's been a few things recently I should have commented on but didn't get my thoughts in order, and it's a bit late now; can I have a clean slate please?


Sep. 19th, 2010 05:22 pm
susanreads: Pooh with his head stuck in a honeypot, "Oh Bother" (oh bother)
Today is the day to put my windows in their winter configuration, and I needed to go outside to shut the living-room window properly, so I went to unlock the front door, and I couldn't! First it resisted, then the key wouldn't turn at all. I went the long way round via the back lane, but couldn't get it unlocked from the outside either. (It's a barrel lock; the same keys work [when they work] on both sides, but I guess there's two copies of the mechanism.)

I phoned a friend, who came round with some WD40, and meanwhile I managed to wrestle it open. My hands ache. The WD40 didn't fix it; the key turns without turning the lock over as often as not. Now I don't dare re-lock it in case I can't shift it again.

The odd-job guy is coming round tomorrow to measure it up for a new lock. Meanwhile, I'm not locked in, but I hope I don't need to leave the house!
susanreads: a gate covered in snow (snow (gate))
or a thaw, anyway. There is still snow everywhere, where it hasn't been walked on/driven over/sanded enough to clear it. Today, I got the spade from the shed, so if it comes back and blocks the front gate from opening again, I've got something to dig my way out with.

The fetching of the spade from the shed was more of an effort than that might sound. Things I didn't get done include clearing the overhanging branches (of next door's tree) from the path. It turns out that my one-hand clippers aren't up to cutting them where they reach head height (they're not as sharp as when they were new, and stronger hands might also be useful), and shaking off the weight of snow and removing the parts that are thin enough to cut didn't make them spring back to a reasonable height, woe. So I'm having to bend down to get underneath while being rained on by the melt. My back is not pleased.

I was going to the shed in the first place to put some things in there that have been gathering dust on a shelf in the kitchen, which I've never used for anything but storage, but now I need to clear it to make room for a microwave.

oven saga )

So it might get here on Wednesday, which would be good. If not, can I buy food for Xmas assuming I'll have an oven to cook it in?
susanreads: a gate covered in snow (snow (gate))
I was wrong: this morning it was still all fluffy-looking in my road. Nasty slush with clear patches in town, icy hummocks in between, depending on amount of (foot) traffic. In places it's safer to walk in the road: you can see where cars were parked overnight that aren't there any more by the big easy-to-walk-on patches. I pulled a muscle, or something, in my thigh walking to and from town, and discovered that one of my boots leaks.

The library will be closing early and the paper I was looking for is missing. (But their computers are, mostly, working. Have I complained on here about how the library computers haven't been working?) I am not wandering around town today looking for inspiration on Xmas-related matters.

I just got home ahead of the next lot. Snow is falling, snow on snow, snowow onnn snow ... it'll be dangerous tomorrow.

I need a snow icon. ETA: snow icon from [community profile] pretty_pixels


Dec. 17th, 2009 10:28 pm
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
I've been having difficulty getting an internet connection all day, more so as time goes on. I assume this is weather-related. It'd been cold and damp, and by the time I went out briefly this afternoon it was sort-of-snowing. It's got a lot heavier since then! It's lying thick enough to hide minor obstacles in every direction. I know, this is nothing by some people's standards, but I'm bloody glad I don't have to go for an interview in it tomorrow as I did on the snow day in January!

I hadn't realised it had got too heavy for safe driving, so I wasn't expecting a phone call at tea-time, telling me the Amnesty meeting I was going to this evening was cancelled. I'd just finished cooking the carrot and coriander sausages I was going to take for the bring-and-share we do at the December meeting. (As far as I can tell from the ingredients on the packet, they're vegan. I can re-heat them in instalments over the next few days, right?) Also, I need more stamps for cards I expected to hand out in person.

It must be lovely, if I could see it. By the time daylight arrives tomorrow, it'll probably be all nasty slush except on the roof-tops. I hope so, since the plausible alternative is ice, and I need to be able to walk outdoors, for several purposes.

Now to post this before the internet goes down again. Stay warm, everybody in the northern third of the planet.
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (mini-me)
I can haz avatar

I've changed my default icon. Until now I always used the UK dreamsheep, which is the first icon I ever acquired. This one was built at's Gaia Online avatar maker and resized in GIMP. I'd prefer a different (messier!) hairstyle, but it wasn't available in dark brown and after trying to re-colour the reddish one for a while I realised my GIMP skillz are far too lacking. Also, you can't see the grey hairs. Still ... me twenty years ago, perhaps!

I would definitely wear those clothes. Colour co-ordination, what's that? Cardigan, check. House slippers, check. Trousers that are slightly too long because mass-market clothes are designed for tall people, check!

Domestic (mis)adventure

Yesterday morning, there was suddenly an intense downpour with hail! The road turned white! An hour later that was all gone. The rain continued for a while ... Meanwhile, as soon as the intense part started it got in under the back door again. Somebody is coming round tomorrow to check the gutters (at least that was the plan when I phoned yesterday).

Srs bsns

When several disabled feminists (FWD) spent a lot of spoons on a "chat" with representatives of Feministing, the transcript shows that Miriam and Courtney, the editors, were all "moderating comments is haaaaard" and "do our work for us" and even committed a t*ne *rg*m*nt. Since then, instead of living up to their claimed commitment to change, they've evidently used other people's suggestions without attribution (or practical follow-through). (I say evidently because I'm not going there to check.) Quixotess explains why you shouldn't give them clicks or link love in Please boycott Feministing.


Sep. 15th, 2009 07:10 pm
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
The back door used to stick in damp weather, so that I couldn't get out that way for weeks on end; then I had a bit shaved off the bottom.

There's a step down outside. How does the water get up it to get under the door? *not going to look in this weather*

I must get the gutters checked.
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
... the place that used to be Co-op Electrical. Why I can't find the electrical department online: it's been sold. I phoned the number that's still in the Yellow Pages and it's answered by "company name I don't recognise". So I can't get a fridge from East of England Co-op, which was my first "Who do I trust more than online retailers" thought.

The other reason not to shop there: if I don't patronise them, they don't get to patronise me. So, they deliver and will remove the old one for a price, but it has to be disconnected and defrosted first. What do I do with all the food inside? No answer. "I can't do that, I can't move it on my own." "Do you have a husband who can help you?" Excuse me, was there a "we" anywhere in that preceding conversation?

I've ordered one from Anglian Electrics instead, whose delivery-folk can be bribed with cups of tea to do all the awkward logistics, apparently!

(The old one still works, it's just old and inefficient. I can't even give it away because charities have minimum energy-efficiency standards!)


susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)


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