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The study has been problematic for a long time. A year or so back, we evicted all the cardboard boxes that used to house parts we no longer own (as my beloved is a member of the school “don’t throw ANYTHING away in case it’s useful”.

Yesterday, he woke up with the LET’S CLEAN THE STUDY bug.

Three trash bags of misc.stuff later…

  • The desks have been emptied, sorted, misc cables rolled up & put away
  • The cable drawers were emptied, misc crap thrown out – why did we still have serial cables? Eight USB/PS-2 adapters? A Playstation->USB adapter for a dance mat I haven’t owned in five years?
  • Cardboard boxes were labelled (ie: headsets/mice, optical media, cable ties & velcro)
  • Old books were thrown away – Windows 2000 / Fedora 4, my old Uni textbooks, etc
  • A new printer was installed, the one with a dead network jack was removed, and the horrible HP that Tobes bought without doing enough research has been disposed of violently
  • Why does the study contain eight laptop bags, none of which we use?

Basically, YOU CAN GET INTO THE CLOSET NOW and access the filing cabinet and cable drawers and ALL THE THINGS and it’s TIDY.

Running total: 200/365

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

I bought new pants in, oh. January? February?

I can now remove one of those pairs without the previous ceremony of undoing them. Upon getting on the scales, the reason why is clear – I’m 10kg down.

I’m kind of pleased with that.

Yesterday had some ups and downs. Inexplicably woke up around 7, which is Too Early For Sunday. Then my laptop – faithful 2008-era macbook – died.

But, husband sourced me a replacement (techy friends are the best), I swapped out the hard drive for it’s original drive and will sell the carcass for parts, the drive is available for data restores onto my new to me machine.

Then the Zouk team from last year had a performance scheduled. We haven’t danced the routine together since Christmas. Unsurprisingly, rehearsal was less ‘rehearsal’ and more ‘oh crap no-one remembers the choreo’. Still, we rocked it, and there are some fabulous photos turning up on Facebook.

Then I went to the regular social Sunday dance. And realised that one of my regular touchpoints for “how’s my mental health” is “how willing am I to ask strange men to dance”. Brains, huh.

I got home around 11:30, exhausted, sweaty, and blissfully happy with my place in the world.

emsk: (Default)

Signs this is a geeky household: birthday present = RAM and large HD for laptop, and pair of Sennheiser earbuds.

Signs this is an anachronistic household: I made kiwifruit chilli sauce, tamarillo toffee sauce, banana nut sauce, and spiced orange sauce this week. (And have four in a parcel to go down to Mum’s tomorrow.)

Signs this is winter: Tigra is sneezing. And she is ridiculously funny, because it’s “chuu!chuu!chuu!chuu!chuu!chuu!” sneezies, but still. Vet appointment required, poor wee sausage will not love me at all.


May. 29th, 2010 09:54 pm
emsk: (Default)

I am twenty six years old.

This is how I spent my evening.

I had a lot of Lego as a kid. My nappy bucket (having done it’s duty and been thoroughly cleansed) subsequently became the Lego bucket – fifty or sixty litres of Lego, some from kits, some in bulk, all of it well loved. At about thirteen or fourteen, when I hadn’t played with it in years, Mum suggested – completely well-meaning – that I might want to consider giving it to a couple of young lads, whose parents weren’t terribly well off. At seven and four, respectively, they’d get more use out of it than I did. I agreed, and boy oh boy, those kids were SO HAPPY. I got thanked, again and again, for about six months thereafter.

I regret getting rid of the Lego now. It made sense at the time, but I do wish we’d kept it.

One of my fondest memories of my father isn’t really based on the recollection I have from childhood, but what I remember being told about it later. I love Lego. Always have. And when I was three or four, Dad bought the Lego police station.

Now, the Lego police station in 1988 was a bit different to the Lego of today. There was a helicopter, for a start, which the modern station doesn’t have (much to my disgust). It was seriously cool. And Dad happily hauled all the parts out of the box, and started building my Lego! I toddled over to ‘help’, as small children do, and was politely told to go and help my mother.

I, being an obedient and sweet child, toddled off to Mum. When asked exactly why I was there instead of playing with ‘my’ new Lego, I innocently explained that Daddy said Mummy needed my help!

I was promptly frogmarched back to my father, who had it explained to him that it would be very nice if he would perhaps play with the Lego, with his daughter, with the Lego that he had, of course, bought FOR his daughter, hadn’t he?

I remember, from the time, the bouncing between my parents that day (mostly because OMGSQUEELEGOSQUEE); as an older child / adult I’ve come to appreciate the real humour of the incident. Poor Dad, just wanting to play with the Lego he’d really bought for himself, on the excuse of having a four year old.

As far as I’m concerned, one of the advantages of being an adult is that I’m allowed to act like a child if I want to. Tobermory and I spent a day of our honeymoon at Legoland Windsor. We elected not to go on any of the rides in the end – it was a pleasant day walking around in the sunshine, we squeed at Miniworld, and spent far too long in the Lego store.

There was a child of about six in the store while we were there. He came in, and promptly lost his tiny little mind in utter glee – “look theres the! and the! and the!!! and!!!! and look!!!!!! andtheandthis!!! and look Mum this!!!! LOOOK!!!!!!! and eee! and the eee!!! eeee loook!!!!!”

You get the drift. His parents were looking a bit shamefaced, though I don’t understand why, so I commented fairly loudly that it was lovely to see such a happy kid. Hopefully they heard.

So, Tobes and I spent about, oh, forty five minutes in the store. We came home with the Police station, the current one. It won’t be the same as the one I remember, but I’m pleased to have it.

And, uh, we bought the Fire Station too. It just didn’t all fit in the luggage. My mother in law is posting the rest home.

Originally published at spinneretta.com
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Apr. 4th, 2010 07:55 pm
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I am starting to get wound up about the wedding, now. It’s less than a month away, we fly out in less than three weeks, two of the things we’re arranging ourselves still aren’t done (although they’re doable) and it struck me yesterday that I had NO IDEA what had been decided by the inlaws about the wedding / reception. Like, how are Tobermory and I getting to the ceremony? Do they have dancing planned at the reception or not? I sent an email to my lovely mother in law going “augh, help” and, bless her, I got a long lovely email back, reassuring me that no, I was not nagging, I was entirely reasonably asking questions, here is lots of information.

Unlike my dearly beloved, I don’t deal terribly well with The Great Unknown, and as this trip is basically all about the great unknown – flying for the first time to a strange country, meeting approximately seventy people I’ve never seen before and will probably never see again, etc etc… yeah, I think I’m allowed to be mildly wound up.

On the plus side, we’re already married legally, so whatever happens on the day of the wedding, we’ll be just fine.

Boomer is definitely on the mend. He escaped from his confinement today, via a route that involved some tricky balance work and a push through a rose bush, so clearly he’s on the mend. Both cats, rather than being given the run of the courtyard, are now confined fully indoors for the next ~36 hours, until the vet’s deadline of “no outside until after Easter” is met.

So, yes, house arrest in place for kitties again. It is, admittedly, tempting to knock both cats on the head, especially at approximately 5am when they decide “Hey! Let’s run around like idiots and make a heap of noise, dig industriously in the litter box, tug on the curtains, dig at the doorway and irritate the shit out of the only human who wakes up [me] because we can’t get out!”, but it’s wonderful to know our wee lad is going to be OK.


This photo was taken just after Boomer got up, stretched, lay down, discovered to his surprise that the tigers’ rear paw was approximately where he’d intended to place his bottom, got up again, looked at it vaguely, and wriggled around to cuddle the paw instead.

Tigra often nestles on the other side. There’s a nice little sunny nook there, between Tiger / couch / window / curtain, which apparently soaks up sun. If we’ve lost her, it’s about the first place to check.

The photos were taken using Hipstamatic on the iPhone. I’m a complete sucker for gadgets and applications like that, I find them immensely entertaining to play with, although I am entirely well aware that far better effects could be achieved with a better camera and some post-processing in Photoshop or similar. Still, what else are toys for if not to play with them?

Originally published at spinneretta.com
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emsk: (Default)
I was discussing the stereotype of clueless technicians at work earlier this week. The young guy had one of our ... less polite... callers on the line, and he'd been dealing with the assumption since minute one that he was clueless. It's possibly the most difficult thing we have to deal with, in tech support - knowing that so many people have terrible experiences with call centres, and they will automatically ASSUME that we are idiots too. He had a good rant and rave, we had a bitch session about the clueless employees and employers that make our jobs harder, and carried on.

That conversation came back to me this afternoon.

Our Orcon connection fell over. We have both phone and ADSL through them. There's a terrible stereotype regarding first-line ISP technicians, particularly the ones at NZ Telecom, who, in every single interaction I have ever had with them, are terrible. (The phone techs haven't been so bad, but their ISP support...)

So, I rung up, spoke to a very pleasant chap allegedly called Frank, realised I could not remember our telephone number and apologised for not having this obvious piece of information on hand (he laughed). Explained we had neither telephone nor Internet, and that as I was on-call this weekend I'd like to know if it's an outage or something - not that my being on-call is in any way their problem, but if the Internets return, I don't have to go to the office. He popped me on hold while line testing*.

Apparently something-something-reset-something-exchange-something, which I frankly didn't catch because I was so astonished that the phone and internet both magically worked again, without my having to go through all the rigmarole of "yes, it's not my equipment, yes, I've tried three different telephones in all the ports in the house, yes, I've restarted the router, no, it's not my home network". Bad Mahal, no biscuit, you assumed the stereotype would apply..

Hooray for ISP technicians who are actually good at their jobs! Hooray Orcon for hiring these people! Hooray internet!

* Amazingly, the hold music wasn't terribly shitty either!

Originally published at spinneretta.com.
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emsk: (kitten Rar!)
Today marks the first day of my two week vacation. It is shaping up to be glorious weather, and extremely busy.

Reiver and Orthia are staying here. Reiv's helping us run cat6 through the house (along with Pstyken, Thaqui, Colitis, and whoever else happens to drop by on any given day this week). There's also a lot of gardening work we want to do; various bushes/plants need to come out, several of the gardens need to be viciously assaulted (and possibly removed).

And then it's Giftmas, which is being hosted here. I still don't know who's likely to show up, but as the order of the day is "If you want to eat, you bring a food contribution", it shouldn't be a huge problem. I'm looking forward to it! For the first time ever I've bought as many presents as I want to, for the people I want to. For reasons of circumstance or finance, I haven't done that before. I'm enjoying the excuse to give people things I think they'll like. I'm happily free from the usual obligations attached to giftmas, what with the whole lack of family involvement. I suppose you could say I'm obliged to buy things for Tobermory, but on the other hand I actually enjoy doing that*.

I bought fairy lights. They are strung around my bookshelves, looking very pretty. I am still trying to talk Tobermory into a Christmas tree, but he has conniptions at the thought of decorations in the middle of summer. Given that it's currently 25C outside (28+ for the poor boys up in the roof**) and his brain is still running on English seasons, I can't blame him.

Tobermory didn't realise that I know how to walk in a ceiling. For some reason, the jobs that I did laying rodent poison in ceilings had never come up. Although that might be because I never told Mum I'd been up in the ceilings of client's houses as a sixteen year old girl, as she would probably have been mildly terrified at the prospect.

The house still intermittently feels strange. It's different in a rented place, where you don't need to know everything about your home. Here, we're still finding out how things work. Like the way different bits of the house were constructed (it's had at least two additions/changes we know of), two types of insulation in the roof, different wall types (some of the cat6 is going under the house rather than over it as a result). We're still learning things like that. I suppose you could argue that we only moved in three months ago, so it's not surprising. It just seems wrong, somehow, that I can walk the house in the dark, but didn't know anything about the wiring until yesterday. I've been aggressively arting every room Tobermory'll let me - even the most-used toilet has art on the walls - which makes me feel more at home. There are thirteen posters (currently living under our bed) which need to find homes.

His parents arrive in less than a month. Yipe.

* This is also the first time that I've EVER successfully bought something for Tobermory (whether birthday or giftmas or whatever other reason) and not immediately confessed when the parcel arrived from the couriers as to its' contents. I might actually manage to hold out on the surprises until giftmas itself!
** Reiver got left in the roof while the ladder got carted off for other purposes yesterday. He was discovered half an hour later, sitting over the roof cavity entrance, swinging his legs and drinking a cold beer that someone had thoughtfully provided.

Originally published at spinneretta.com.
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This morning, I got online and spent one thousand dollars of my hard-earned money. Now I get to spend days drooling over impending geeky goodness.

The purchase wasn’t without it’s share of adventure. The online store I purchased from (which, by the bye, has an excellent reputation) had a rather odd statement to make after the purchase was complete (yay, Mum’s credit card). I emailed them, rather shirtily.

Good morning to the [store] team.

I just made an order for the items I’ve listed at the bottom of my email – my name is Emma, and my mother used her credit card to pay for the order. In that situation, how do we need to go about verifying the credit card details? Neither of us have access to a fax machine, and she is not willing to allow PP to charge a random amount onto her credit card for verification!

If it’s impossible to verify the card, that’s no problem. Let me know, and I’ll simply buy the items I’m wanting elsewhere (I know [other store] has similar stock, albeit at very slightly higher prices – the reason I came to [store] in the first place).

Surprisingly enough, I got a reply within ten minutes, assuring me that wouldn’t be necessary, the order would be placed as was, and my items would be shipped stat.

Funny what threatening to take business elsewhere does.

I have to go over to WebBossMan this weekend again. Except, transport is rather an issue this time, as Workmate isn’t going.

So, I’m renting a car for the day. Boss is reimbursing me (yay Boss) for the $70 it’ll cost me.

Tell you something. People confuse me. The base cost of the car was… $50, I think. Close enough, anyway. That was for a day, including 200 kilometers. The insurance excess (given my age of 22) was $1500. But, if I pay an extra $15 (yes, fifteen) dollars, the excess drops to $250. Um, hello?? And for an extra $5, windscreen repairs etc are then covered. OK, sure, it’s an extra $20. But – what’s $20 vs a potential One Thousand Five Hundred dollars??? The possibility that people would not pay the extra – and I know people rarely do, I have a friend working at the place I hired from – simply boggles my little mind.

People are strange. Including myself. I spent the day (with the next two youngest of my workmates) on my feet imaging the new rollout of seventy PC’s at work. (Monday and Tuesday herald laptop imaging.) We laughed and pottered round and gossiped, blasted music (except when the phone rang), generally had a good day.

I caused amusement, because I forgot HardwareBloke could see through the (glass) wall into my workshop, and was merrily bopping around to Beegees tracks doing stupid 70’s moves and singing along with myself (quietly). Wasn’t till Hardware was unable to keep the giggles in, and then NewNotesDeveloper bopped into my little corner doing the best John Travolta circa Saturday Night Fever impersonation I have EVER seen, that I realised Oops, my buttwiggling and armwaving is VISIBLE in here.

HardwareMan then passed the comment “I gather you do get drunk occasionally? Because I’ve never known anyone who’s actually taken the trouble to learn those moves whilst sober.”

(Also, I had to ask Jamie what Saturday Night Fever was called. I couldn’t remember. I was listening to Night Fever at the time. D’oh!!)

I have sore feet (go, nine hours on feet non-stop) but it was a good day.

Also, impending new shinies. Yay!

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

I walked in the door this morning, to find that the corridors were throwing their biannual masquerade party. This time, they’d chosen to disguise themselves as saunas.

Mars was running around generally flapping his arms and complaining that the relevant IT staff members weren’t there. Turns out the aircon software had sucked the kumara. This is not good, when the software is so old it refuses to run on anything newer than Windows 98 (with an emulator of some sort!) and most of the Work hardware is too new for the various drivers and things that the aircon needs.

Fortunately, HardwareMan searched his Cave of Gruelike Proportions (armed with a large torch, of course) and located elderly hardware in a StillFunctionalState, and armed with said Boxen of the Elder Days, the aircon resumed belching out cool air.

And there we rediscovered one of the idiosyncracies of the work building. Basement gets real cold real fast. (Yay, IT department in basement, nice and coooooool in summer). Upper floors get … cooler, eventually. It’s amazing how many of the TopFloorBods discovered things that they wanted from us today. Including cups of coffee and conversation, simply to revel in our cold air!!

I’ve started delving into the depths of the code for this project. It’s both more difficult and less complicated than I expected. Slightly larger in terms of actual amount of code to write – MUCH MUCH simpler in terms of tweaking to existing parts necessary. This is good. (Like, VERY good.)

Had a call from WebBoss as I was walking home today. How much have you done, how is it looking, undertone of “Australia are hassling me, PLEASE tell me SOON is the answer!!!!!!!!!eleventyone!!” As “Boss, I’m on my feet after a LONG day, can I please at least go home and stuff my face before you hassle me?” seemed like a bit catty a response, I duly explained all I’d done yesterday (practically, very little, theoretically, a lot of learning) and what I had planned for my evening.

I’ve done more than I expected, which is always nice.

Also, I acquired some fudge from the lovely fudge place in town in celebration of having signed the loan papers, and $4k in the bank on Thursday. Shopping for a car, anyone?

Actually, seeing as I’m attempting to develop, run as a server, run music, and a few other apps – CONCURRENTLY with WindowsXP – I’m going to get an extra 1.5gig of ram, a new video card, and second monitor, all with the mission of making my life as a developer easier. Also, that should put this box completely off the list of “things to upgrade” for the next year or so.

Quiet in the peanut gallery, please. Yes, once I’m a rich working woman I might buy a laptop, but that’s DIFFERENT. (Because I say so.)

After all, one can’t be a tech goddess without queenly parts, can one?

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

My day has already visited several extremes.

To wit:
Walking to the bus shelter. Discovered that a particularly charming member of society felt that the shelter was a good place to take a dump.

Elected to stand a couple of meters away from the shelter until the bus arrived. Even at 7.15am, still quite chilly, it stunk.

Finding that AprilJob had, in fact, emailed me on Monday as I’d asked and the mail was marked as read on gmail arrival. Um?

Still, I’m happy. No word on money yet (other than “commensurate with graduate salaries in the IT industry”) but my job title will be Systems Support Engineer, with web development responsibilities.

This makes me very happy. Particularly as the conversation ended with a “Would you please help us with a rush job now?” Answer: Dude, of course. Only problem is, no wheels. Boss went silent for a second, and went “Hmm, I have a way around this I’ll get back to you when I’ve checked it out OK?” (Yes, like that, no punctuation.) It might be interesting…

Then, Jamie and I were discussing some of the silly misinterpretations children can put on things. My personal favourite? I was 3, or 4, and Mum was talking to someone else. Said conversation went through various topics, including my reflux as a baby, to walking into town with me in my pram to make me sleep, to the way Sulphur Park randomly develops extra hot-mud-puddles.

I came out of the conversation with the impression that, after Mum had walked to town with me in the pushchair and I barfed all over the ground, a new hole appeared the next day – directly as a result of me puking there.

It took a surprisingly long time to shake myself of that idea, and I don’t think I completely shook it till I learned about volcanology.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.


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