Monday, September 28, 2009

Ink and Incapability

The title would be referring to the temporary writer's block that had me stumped for a title for a few minutes, a couple of seconds ago. Still, I turned the problem into the solution expertly, and once again have bent reality to my will. Go me!


I walked to work the other day, enjoying the weather, which recently has been very hot and very sunny (followed by very cold completely cloudless nights). Even as I walked to work in shades and a T shirt, neighbours were hapilly talking about how lovely the weather is for the back end of September.

Yep, just as the hottest (one of the hottest, at least!) day of the year was way back, abnormally early, in april, it seems the hot weather has continued, more or less, right through September, even as the trees shed their leaves, and sycamore seeds whirl from the sky almost as a precursor to the snow that will follow. Once again, another year seems to be growing old.

Which leads me to make the astonishing announcement that I have, as of a few hours ago, purchased my first Christmas Present! As shocking as this might seem, if you read back, you'll notice that I started buying presents about this time last year, as well.

So about this present. Well. It's sparkly, different, very cool, and in fact is so cool that I'm going to have a quick look at it to er, check the contents, and to make sure everything works and stuff. Yes, that's right :-).

But it's not arrived yet, so hey :).

My Ipod parts on the other hand, did finally arrive, and so I set to work replacing the shell/clickwheel of the ipod. Youtube tutorial videos had made it clear that replacing the case is simple enough, but to replace the clickwheel the entire thing has to come to bits. I guess the most worrying part was having to prise the main board off the frame, since it was held in place only by glue (!)

The whole thing took about an hour, and was simple enough really, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't relieved when the 2 halfs of the case finally locked together with a satisfying click. And my Ipod? Well now it looks new. Yay!

One other thing I did, was to copy my family's favourite christmas tape (we've always used one particular christmas tape for years and years) to MP3 so now I can carry those old tunes about with me. Once done, I went to search for other tapes to copy, and in the process I found lots of stuff I thought I no longer owned. Old talismans, pendants, postcards from mates I haven't seen for years, lots of stuff with a very high sentimental value.

When I was a kid, my sister and I used to fight over who got to keep the extremely long receipts we got from the checkouts at christmas food shopping. I found a few of them in a box under my bed, dated 2001 and 2002, and just for old time's sake went to show my dad.
Disappointingly, all he did was question why I should want to keep "rubbish".

My sister and I are very different in that regard - If I don't have a damn good reason to throw something away, I generally keep it, especially if it has sentimental value.
My sister on the other hand, likes to throw stuff away the second she can't instantly come up with a good reason not to. She attatches no sentimental value to anything, and seems to value a possession based strictly on its utility. Efficient, but rather cold, I think.
I guess I now see where she gets it from. Still, one man's junk is another man's treasure, as they say, and as freudian/homoerotic as that sounds, I'm inclined to agree.

So yeah. Not much else to go on about relaly layley, so I'll leave it here. while I lay back and daydream about what other presents I'd like to buy :-).


Monday, September 21, 2009

Ahh Memories...


I noticed that despite the year winding on, the weather has been fairly civil, with no real rain to speak of. And so, by virtue of its very normality, the weather, or lack thereof, went completely unheeded by me, and pretty much by everyone that I speak to regularly.

A couple of days ago however, we had one very warm very beautiful day. The sun was out and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The slight breeze was cool but not cold, and even a few birds could be seen wobbling in the branches of the trees, which themselves barely moved (Of course they barely moved. When did you last see trees walking about)?

It seemed to be a perfectly pleasant if somewhat cool summer day.

the day that followed, was nondescript, nothing more than a marker on the path from Summer to Autumn. And today? Overcast, cool, with a little rain cooling everything down.

Yes, it seems that September has been struggling to stamp its mark on the year, and is even now trying to point out that it's not summer anymore. And so, as I heed these signals, my mind turns to the future. And to the past.

Why am I writing like a second year English Student? I don't know :).

No, it's that time of year, where the dreaded C word begins to creep slowly but inexorably into conversation, and even as I start planning how to handle Christmas 2009, searching ebay for presents, decorations and other acoutrements, I'm looking back with tinsel-tinted spectacles to last year's Christmas. An event which went pretty well, by all standards actually.

Why do this so early though? It's only September!
Because, I only earn about £50 a week, which is only very slightly more than you get paid for being unemployed. Therefore I have to look ahead in order to be able to make sure I have the finances that I need. I already have an idea what I want to buy one person (if they don't go and get it themselves in the months ahead) .

So, what about the recent past, the last couple of weeks.
Well, despite what the dentist said, relief was two or three days wait after my visit to the practice, not exactly the instant fix she promised me, but hey, everyone's entitled to make a mistake every now and again. I couldn't diagnose, much less treat jaw problems, so I should shut my mouth. Aha. Ha. Ha. Etc.

Eventually, the pain, if not the swelling died down, so the whole issue is a lot less thorny than it was before. I'm still reluctant to talk about having my tooth out, so for that reason I'm going to move on and talk about something else.

My Ipod, having been rebuilt the day before halloween 2007 is once again looking like an absolute dog's dinner, and having been dropped a few times, has bangs, scratches, dints, dents, dings and things all over it. In order to put this right, I've bought some new bits for it. Not only a new faceplate, in black again, but a new rear case, and a new clickwheel.
Having got bored with the white clickwheel though, I've ordered a lovely red one this time, meaning that my Ipod should look something like this when it's finished.

I haven't bothered buying the "U2 Autographed" rear case, because I stopped liking that arch-idiot Bono (and anything he touched, participated in or talked about) once he became conceited, narcissistic, and arrogant enough (he was always conceited and narcissistic, but he crossed the threshold at some point in the indeterminate past) to stop being a musician and to try his hand at getting us to all give money to Africa instead, like some kind of second rate Bob Geldof, but without the stupidly annoying offspring.

I'm not in favour of poverty, obviously, but while I'm not going to go into my views in detail on here, what I am going to say is that firstly, if he wanted loads of money to go to Africa, he should pay out of his own extremely full pocket instead of moaning about Africa's problems every opportunity he gets, like some kind of unofficial spokesman for the entire continent, to the point where U2 fans everywhere are made to feel crap for not selling their own property to raise money.
Secondly, he's conveniently forgetting the fact that a huge majority of aid that goes to Africa ends up going directly into the equally extremely full pockets of the leaders of these impoverished countries, who then go to spend said money on AK47s, RPGs, BMWs, gold plated bathroom fixings, champagne, works of art, and whore parties, a wide variety of hedonistic and fun things, that conveniently don't include anything to do with providing food, water, or shelter, for the poor of the country.
Still, I've no doubt that he's going to try to buy/adopt a small malawi orphan at some point, since that seems to be the fashionable thing to do these days.

So to ignore that little rant, suffice it to say, I don't want to be associated with that, and for that reason, the U2 signatures stay off the back of my ipod, thankyou very much.
But black and red does look cool :-). I've also bought a plastic shield thing to stick to the front of it to make suire it continues to look cool.
I've been waiting on both for about ten days, not particularly happy about that. Hmm.

So, what else have I been up to.
Well, going one better than pulling my camera off my desk, I managed to drop it 3 foot onto concrete a few days ago. Damaged? YES!
The little battery latch thing came loose and had to be superglued back on. That's it really.
No lasting effects, but it was... interesting... at the time.

Still, there you go.

My little Traser keyring turned up, and has since spent its time being generally sparkly, which is good. A bit expensive at £8.50 but then it's going to stay lit for the next 10 years, so hey :).

And that's it really, nothing else much to report. I spend more and more time looking on ebay for (Hmm, a firetruck has just gone down the road with lights flashing, wonder what's happening) christmassy stuff, and as the time creeps closer towards us, I've no doubt that I'm eventually going to have to start spending money on it.

So hey :).

Little Clarification

One thing that I will say, that I should clarify rather, having been reminded by the fire service zooming down the road, is the meaning of my comments a few weeks back;

"But tonight, seeing the wheels turning smoothly, first the crime/injury, then the ambulance and the police response, I guess it gave me a little more faith in our emergency services.

Nice one, lads"

It occured to me that the other day, that these comments could be seen as expressing - at worst - pleasant surprise in seeing our Emergency Services doing their jobs effectively and efficiently, and therefore give people the impression that I don't have a lot of respect for or trust in those Emergency services.

As you're probably aware, the posts on this blog do not represent the opinions or views of any entity other than myself, which means I can bloody well say what I want and tough luck if people happen not to like it. But I do want to point out that not only do I have absolute trust in and respect for our emergency services, but I also feel proud to have those hardworking guys and girls in my neighbourhood.
We'd all be lost without 'em, so let's all give it up for our firefighters, police officers, EMTs/Paramedics etc, and the new Yorkshire Air Ambulance guys, with their shiny and awesome new #2 helicopter :-).

Cheers people, all the best :-).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eee, by gum...


It seems that even when it's closed, my mouth is getting me into trouble.
A small swelling of my gums at the back of my mouth has since turned into a larger swelling, with associated discomfort (for discomfort read: "Not being able to sleep or eat properly because it hurts too much".

And that's it. No further details available at the moment, I've had the issue for a couple of days and while it hasn't got any worse, despite me starting on low-level (available without prescription) painkillers and antiseptic mouthwashes (Corsodyl/Chlorohexidine - which is available without prescription in the UK but not the US - eek!) it hasn't got any better either.

Eventually, I phoned the local clinic (having been spurred into action by a sudden (and temporary) sharp increase in pain yesterday. Their advice? "Phone the dentist". Fair enough I spose, but if you're a regular reader of the blog and you've got a decent memory, you'll remember I've seen so much of my dentist that I may as well be married to one.

Nevertheless, I found myself reluctantly phoning the NHS dentist, who (despite what the newspapers (both in the UK and the US) are fond of saying about the NHS) have sorted out an appointment for me to have a quick checkup, which is in about 50 minutes.

Is this the start of another long saga of me getting victimised/treated with long sharp instruments? Let's hope not.

But last night, when I should have been celebrating England's recent (and very effective!) win, Instead I was sitting at home feeling sorry for myself, rationing pain killers and generally having naps to try and recover from my pain-induced lack of sleep (3 hours in the last 30, up until that point).

So let's see what happens. I'll let you know more when I get back.


Right, I've been to the dentist. The problem was pretty much as I'd expected (informed opinion, aided by medical/NHS websites (don't self-diagnose, it's naughty!)), my gum was being irritated by "foreign bodies" in my mouth.
However, it's a bit more involved than that. Apparently, stress causes swelling of the gums (I've not heard that one before), and as the gum swelled over my wisdom tooth, it trapped food between the surface of the tooth and itself. Food doing what food will after a few days of being trapped in a warm damp environment, started turning into interesting chemicals which lots of interesting bacteria started eating.

My gum didn't like being in contact with at all, hence the pain and inflammation.
So after giving this "gap" a quick wash with some antiseptic stuff (more Corsodyl I think), they prescribed me with some antibiotics, which will persuade the interesting bacteria to stop being interesting and start being dead (hey, i'm all for "good bacteria", but these little sods have had me in quite a lot of pain! Payback!).

My dentist has warned me that eveb after succesful treatment, there's nothing to stop this situation reoccuring, and that I should have the aformentioned wisdom tooth removed.

Hmm, I'll have to think about whether I want that to happen or not.

Still, I've got some medicines to get through, so I'd best get started. I'm going to try and eat something in a bit.

Ciao :-)