vilakins: (egad!)
I saw this on FaceBook: 10 signs you were obsessed with LiveJournal. Only numbers 1 (You bought a premium account just so you could have more icons), 8 (You had a love/hate relationship with image hosting sites), and 10 (Your LJ friends became real friends - YESSS!) really applied to me. #8 still does apply to Dreamwidth. Having to resize, upload, then link photos is a right pain and one of the reasons I keep putting it off, so I've decided I'll restrict pic-heavy posts to LJ because of sheer galloping laziness. Even though it will store said pics on LJ's execrable Crapbook.

In other news it's back to work tomorrow and this is very depressing, also because the offices aren't air-conditioned and it's very hot very early in summer; usually this sort of heat is February weather. Plus my work laptop's solid state drive went belly up just before the break, Greg thinks because of the heat, but surely they're used in hotter countries than this. Anyway, it'll take me a while to get the rebuilt laptop back to the way I like it. At least I had a daily backup.

Work: DO NOT WANT.

[livejournal.com profile] imhilien and I went to see The Hobbit: Battle of 5 Armies in 3D this morning, me for the second time. Not enough Bilbo but I have to say I love the 3D. Afterwards we went for lunch and decided to have pancakes. "But I don't want eggs or bacon," I said, regarding the listing with misgivings:

From memory: Pancakes with scrambled eggs, bacons (sic), banana, maple syrup, ice cream, cream.
Most of the brunch items had bacons. :-P

[livejournal.com profile] imhilien was sure they were just options, but nope. I asked for banana with no bacon, and got the puzzled question, didn't I want the scrambled eggs? In the end we got our sweet pancakes plus some nice boysenberry preserve, but seriously, who would eat such a strange taste mishmash?
vilakins: (lazy)
I have been driven in here by a sense of duty because I haven't posted for so long. I was even more then two weeks behind on LJ and DW which means posts fell off the end of my flist.

Sorry.

Anyway, first I went on that 3-day course which was heaps of fun, very interesting, and exhausting, then promptly went to Christchurch for a Greg's family reunion which involved a limousine packed with far too many of his sibs and partners plus champagne, formal photos, and a dinner at a vegetarian / fish restaurant that would be my new favourite if I lived down there (Dux Dine for those who do). Even the complaining brother-in-law liked it. In fact we went for breakfast there the next day and I had an excellent huevos rancheros. I have also discovered that one of Greg's sisters is known to her sibs as HRH, the Anointed One, and the Chosen One, and her spoiled (but rather sweet) little boy is Prince Ari. Apparently people said in her yearbook that she was going into haughty-culture. [sniggers] I can so see all of that. I get on well with her, but it took her a couple of years to accept me.

I took Monday off after I got back and I really needed it as I was socialised out - just me, the cats, the Kindle, ahhh. This did not help with all the work that had pied up during the course so I've been too tired to post or write and last weekend just did the vege out with books thing. Plus it's damned cold in here where my puter is, but tonight I managed to heat it up to 17C so my feet aren't achy blocks of ice.

I still suspect I'm not going to get much writing done tonight, and I had planned hoped to finish the big AU I've been working on before the end of this month.

Right, I'll see if I can squeeze some fic out.
vilakins: (joy)

I've been applying for heaps of jobs, and finally I got an interview which went very well, and went back for a second one yesterday: 90 minutes talking to the founders of the company and we got on so well. They rang today at lunch time and I have it! I start on the 26th, so I'll have only a weekend between the 4-week production analyst contract at the huge global drink company (which is going well, actually) and the new job.

It's in the next suburb with lots of shops, cafes, my favourite bead shop, Pilates etc. I'll be getting a few thousand more than I was and there's free parking a couple of blocks away. The people are great, very creative and interesting, keen on being sustainable and improving the world, and they've already made a big difference here by training local councils. I'll be doing techo stuff (digital media, even video editing, statistics, analysis, web stuff) and also using the other side of me (writing, editing, being creative, maybe even some artwork as they were interested in seeing it). And man, I must upload my stuff to Picasa as LJ crapbook has not only randomised my folders but lost about half the images.

Two local people started the company 20 years ago and it's now international (mainly US, Mexico, and UK). It's going to be so interesting! I almost can't believe it after so many emails saying "there were hundreds of candidates, and sorry but you didn't make the final cut, yada yada".

I'm too excited to settle down and watch some Leverage but I will because I won't be able to sleep yet.

Oh yes, and I should get round to you know, actually doing some writing for picowrimo this weekend now the pressure's off. :-)

vilakins: (writing)

I didn't apply for the one job still available where I was working because a colleague had five years experience, it wasn't a pleasant environment they'd moved us to (physically or people-wise) and it was doing three people's work--and she now wishes she'd taken redundancy; she's looking for other work too. The merger we all suspected went through last week and 54 more people have gone from both companies, including my lovely former manager.

Anyway, they said I didn't have to work my time out, presumably because I was the only one who didn't apply and they (rightly) considered me disaffected. So I left three weeks ago on full pay and got a four-week contract last week--so I'm being paid for two jobs at once. Hey, I might need that if I don't get another for a while. I did have an interview today which I thought went well.

I spent all of last week frantically learning all I have to do for the next three when I cover for a production analyst on holiday and was more then slightly distracted so when November hit, it, well, sort of missed me.

Because it's [livejournal.com profile] picowrimo month! Picowrimo is great because people set their own writing goals and everyone's so encouraging. These days I need something like that to get me to write and I'm hoping I'll finish off my WIP during this one. If you need a more compact alternative to nanowrimo, do come along and join us!

vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

Our department had a champagne breakfast this morning followed an hour later by mince pies, lolly cake, chocolate brownies, and liqueur chocolates with more champagne! When I got back to my desk after that our department all had huge tinned plum puddings from our manager. I think I'll keep mine till winter. We finished at noon and not much work actually got done.

Then I came home feeling mellow and ready to relax and do as little as poss with seven library books stacked up ready to read.

So far so good.

My sister (you remember, the nutty one who has all sorts of bizarre obsessions like magic water) is going to India for two weeks to volunteer in an orphanage with five other people. No, I can't see just what they'd do to help in just two weeks, but what do I know? She wants to come up tomorrow to buy some cotton Indian clothes to wear till she can buy something there. She wants me to go shopping with her but I have several days of reading and knitting and chilling out planned and besides, it's embarrassing just being with her. I know what she'll do: tell all the shopkeepers she comes across her life story and just why she's going to India. Oy. You need a fish slice to fit a word in edgeways.

Anyway I've managed to talk her out of schlepping me along and reduced the contact to lunch out so I might escape the sister-induced migraine.

So far fairly good.

However there have been two more big earthquakes in Christchurch (probably with loads of people out shopping too) and Greg's on the phone to family about it. His mother got "thrown around a bit" but she's OK and, as ever, unwilling to leave her house in the red (demolition) zone. The latest is that there are no fatalities but some injuries. Those poor people down there; a lot of them just can't take the stress any more and are moving out. I heard a woman who won a CD on the radio this morning saying how lovely the weather was down there. And now this. :-(

vilakins: (candles)

I haven't posted much lately. I've been feeling a bit tired, probably a combination of extremely changeable weather (hot, cold, wet, dry--sometimes all in one day like today), learning a new job, end-of-year rush to get things finished at work before we close down for two weeks, various social outings.

There are various things I've been meaning to post about and just haven't got round to, so here's a brief catch-up.

Various recent things )



I will just add: LJ, what the hell were you thinking? Is the whole idea of customer service completely alien to you?

Oh and Hanukkah sameach to those who celebrate it! [has eaten three doughnuts tonight]

vilakins: (office space)

One of the cool things about work is having a desk right by a window, something I haven't had in most offices. This is what I can see.

Two photos and two volcanoes )

vilakins: Vila in cold-weather clothes looking unhappy (weather)

I meant to post photos of what I can see through my windows at work but I deleted them from the camera under the mistaken impression that I'd already downloaded them. So I'll have to wait for a sunny day and take more. Because today is wet and miserable and the next few days probably will be too.

We were supposed to go my company end-of-year bash today, originally planned to be a combined adults' and children's outdoor thing at a park, satisfyingly separate according to the email. However it's now in a school hall and we weren't keen on sharing it with a crowd of noisy kids; I have a lot of things I'd rather do on a wet Sunday afternoon. Like reading the new Marlows book (Spring Term by Sally Hayward), having tea and sultana scones, knitting...

I have now met my first unpleasant person at work: some sort of sexist white supremacist judging by his comments who thinks everyone should have the right--and habit--of bearing arms in case they want to take down the government. I was warned about this guy and as soon as he started talking to me in the lunch room I guessed who he was. He is now up to his second wife from the Philippines; enough said. Luckily I don't have to have anything to do with him and if I come across him again in the lunch room, I'll just have urgent work to get back to.

What else can I tell you now the pressure of picowrimo (OK, I know several of you did nanowrimo and succeeded) is off? I have to go to Greg's end-of-year dinner on Thursday and have hopes of the restaurant being air-conditioned since it's in a hotel since I usually broil at those things. Today's quite cool (20C in here) but yesterday was so hot (30C) I broke out the portable aircon for this room and Sebastian has mastered Ashley's technique of charging and leaping through the small gap between the exhaust hose (jammed in the slightly open ranch sliders) and the venetians. As long as he doesn't do a Jasmin and try to go up the exhaust hose; he's far too big and would be difficult to extract. :-P

vilakins: (office space)

It's Friday evening at last! It's been a steep learning curve (I was meant to be trained in two days when a lot more than that is needed) but I think I have it all pretty much sussed now. I still have a bad chest infection so I've been feeling pretty knackered at the end of the day, and it's embarrassing hacking away in the office. Not that I'm the only one but I think I'm the worst. I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow.

Anyway. This Rugby World Cup things that's on has resulted in different Auckland suburbs being assigned teams to support (e.g. Remuera is Scotland) and at least one car in ten flying national flags, or in our case because we have a crap flag, a black one with a silver fern on it. Several offices I've been in have different branches or departments doing the same thing in a company competition, and where I'm working that's the case too.

They went all out today at work. Examples:

  • 'Russians' were dressed as ballet dancers in white tutus (the hairy-legged men too). They were a bizarre sight lined up on the roadside buying coffees from a van mind-morning.
  • 'Australians' were in akubras (Aussie hats), some of them festoooned with corks. They also had an electric barbie in the lunch room at lunch time, frying up sausages and onions.
  • 'Canadians' were dressed as lunberjacks. If they sang the Lumberjack Song, I didn't hear it.
  • 'Japanese' were in martial art gear.
My department, meant to be Romania, just has decorations and a flag up; they say they're too busy to do anything else. They blew up far too many balloons though and the things are all over the place, collecting in rubbery drifts in corners. :-P

vilakins: (office space)

I took these photos over a week ago, but I've only got round to sorting them out and uploading them. Besides, I wasn't that keen on doing a cat post when I was so worried about my own one.

Teddy (his name is on his collar) is a one-year-old cat who visits the office from the next block to look for company. This would be very cute, but:
1) my boss is very allergic to cats
2) Teddy's a loudly demanding little guy who wants attention now and will do anything to get it. :-)

He has disrupted meetings by yowling at the door so loudly, the speaker was distracted and unnerved. If I let him into my room to get him away from visitors whom he regards as sport, he runs about the place crying till I pick him up. It was not easy to get these photos because he's in constant motion.

[Edit] I thought he was a Cornish Rex because that was the only cat I knew of with a curly coat, but he turns out to be a Devon Rex; his face (narrow with big eyes and ears) matches.

If you haven't seen a Cornish Devon Rex before, you might like to see what one looks like. I got a good one of his face.

He has curly fur which feels really like tiger cub fur because of the change in texture as you run your hands over it. It's thin enough for me to feel his body heat and wiry little muscles through it. [Edit] He's missing the top 'guard' coat of fur, so it seems he has one more coat than the Cornish Rex which only has the bottom down layer.

I'm also not too worried about this little guy getting run over because he's terrified of cars; he only crosses the road if there isn't a moving vehicle in sight. BTW his owner told me he has a sister called Tessa (!) whom I've never seen because she doesn't wander from home.

Action shots of Teddy the Devon Rex )

vilakins: (office space)

I took these photos over a week ago, but I've only got round to sorting them out and uploading them. Besides, I wasn't that keen on doing a cat post when I was so worried about my own one.

Teddy (his name is on his collar) is a one-year-old cat who visits the office from the next block to look for company. This would be very cute, but:
1) my boss is very allergic to cats
2) Teddy's a loudly demanding little guy who wants attention now and will do anything to get it. :-)

He has disrupted meetings by yowling at the door so loudly, the speaker was distracted and unnerved. If I let him into my room to get him away from visitors whom he regards as sport, he runs about the place crying till I pick him up. It was not easy to get these photos because he's in constant motion.

[Edit] I thought he was a Cornish Rex because that was the only cat I knew of with a curly coat, but he turns out to be a Devon Rex; his face (narrow with big eyes and ears) matches.

If you haven't seen a Cornish Devon Rex before, you might like to see what one looks like. I got a good one of his face.

He has curly fur which feels really like tiger cub fur because of the change in texture as you run your hands over it. It's thin enough for me to feel his body heat and wiry little muscles through it. [Edit] He's missing the top 'guard' coat of fur, so it seems he has one more coat than the Cornish Rex which only has the bottom down layer.

I'm also not too worried about this little guy getting run over because he's terrified of cars; he only crosses the road if there isn't a moving vehicle in sight. BTW his owner told me he has a sister called Tessa (!) whom I've never seen because she doesn't wander from home.

Action shots of Teddy the Devon Rex )

vilakins: (office space)

Auugh! Someone just sent me some meeting minutes, part of which is Greek to me. Yep, somehow they put three sections into the Symbol font, and when I try to convert them into a normal font, I just get sqaures. So I'm sitting here typing a translation; lucky I know Greek letters. [rolls eyes] I did not need this.

vilakins: (office space)

Auugh! Someone just sent me some meeting minutes, part of which is Greek to me. Yep, somehow they put three sections into the Symbol font, and when I try to convert them into a normal font, I just get sqaures. So I'm sitting here typing a translation; lucky I know Greek letters. [rolls eyes] I did not need this.

vilakins: (tabby cat)

I was at work today with the office door open, and suddenly heard a meow at my feet.

This is what I found )



He's the same cat I found sitting serenely and placidly in the car park last week. He wouldn't get out of the way so I had to get out of my car and pick him up. When I'd parked, he was back again, right in the middle, so I picked him up again and took him to a safe place. Maybe he remembered me and came to visit. :-)

vilakins: (tabby cat)

I was at work today with the office door open, and suddenly heard a meow at my feet.

This is what I found )



He's the same cat I found sitting serenely and placidly in the car park last week. He wouldn't get out of the way so I had to get out of my car and pick him up. When I'd parked, he was back again, right in the middle, so I picked him up again and took him to a safe place. Maybe he remembered me and came to visit. :-)

vilakins: My cat Tessa (tessa)

Not good

Tessa has osteoarthritis, and they say she's had it for a while. So why, I asked, did she rocket up and down the stairs and love to play, and why did it get so bad so suddenly? They couldn't answer the first bit, but apparently it's been aggravated by her either jumping off something too high, or getting into a fight. I have pain-killers for her and some glucosamine sprinkles for her food, though I already give her green-lipped mussel pills. She is not happy. She's curled up on a chair with Claudia cuddled up comfortingly to her, when she'd normally be in here demanding attention. I suppose that's good in one way since they said to make her rest for 3-4 days and I have no idea how to do that.

If she hasn't improved in a week or so, I have to take her in for x-rays.

Somewhat better

The hardware guy brought my work PC back today, but the motherboard still can't recognise the RAID. They unplugged one disc though so at least I have all my data back. However the virus checking software has been dorked, I can't run Outlook due to various bizarre error messages, and the PC doesn't show the internet connection under 'network connections', which may be the same problem. It's hard to test this though since the office's ISP was down all day. It's a step in the right direction though.

vilakins: My cat Tessa (tessa)

Not good

Tessa has osteoarthritis, and they say she's had it for a while. So why, I asked, did she rocket up and down the stairs and love to play, and why did it get so bad so suddenly? They couldn't answer the first bit, but apparently it's been aggravated by her either jumping off something too high, or getting into a fight. I have pain-killers for her and some glucosamine sprinkles for her food, though I already give her green-lipped mussel pills. She is not happy. She's curled up on a chair with Claudia cuddled up comfortingly to her, when she'd normally be in here demanding attention. I suppose that's good in one way since they said to make her rest for 3-4 days and I have no idea how to do that.

If she hasn't improved in a week or so, I have to take her in for x-rays.

Somewhat better

The hardware guy brought my work PC back today, but the motherboard still can't recognise the RAID. They unplugged one disc though so at least I have all my data back. However the virus checking software has been dorked, I can't run Outlook due to various bizarre error messages, and the PC doesn't show the internet connection under 'network connections', which may be the same problem. It's hard to test this though since the office's ISP was down all day. It's a step in the right direction though.

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)

Bad, bad, and more bad

I already have to book Claudia in for blood tests before her imminent operation (teeth scaling) but Tessa's the one who's going to the vet tomorrow. When I came home, she was curled up in her bed which is not at all unusual, but by the time she got out and showed us her limp (a poorly paw on the left side) the vet was closed. So I'll have to take her in tomorrow before work and leave her there for the day, poor little girl.

And as for work, my PC is still away being experimented on. The power supply went belly-up and killed the motherboard and now the new one can't read the RAID. I'm really worried they won't be able to recover the data from it. [whimpers and bites nails] I thought a RAID was reliable. I only backed up the files I used and changed in case I messed up and needed an old version, which means the static and historical stuff may be gone. Not to mention all my e-mail contacts.

And it's cold. Yes, we got the Aussie weather.

Good

Well, I have to think of something, and I suppose this is it. Greg's gym is having Christmas function next week at a bowling club: lawn bowls, games, and a barbecue, which will be fun and very unusual; much better than those affairs where everyone stands around with a drink in one hand and a canapé in the other while trying to make conversation with strangers. I just hope it's not raining.

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)

Bad, bad, and more bad

I already have to book Claudia in for blood tests before her imminent operation (teeth scaling) but Tessa's the one who's going to the vet tomorrow. When I came home, she was curled up in her bed which is not at all unusual, but by the time she got out and showed us her limp (a poorly paw on the left side) the vet was closed. So I'll have to take her in tomorrow before work and leave her there for the day, poor little girl.

And as for work, my PC is still away being experimented on. The power supply went belly-up and killed the motherboard and now the new one can't read the RAID. I'm really worried they won't be able to recover the data from it. [whimpers and bites nails] I thought a RAID was reliable. I only backed up the files I used and changed in case I messed up and needed an old version, which means the static and historical stuff may be gone. Not to mention all my e-mail contacts.

And it's cold. Yes, we got the Aussie weather.

Good

Well, I have to think of something, and I suppose this is it. Greg's gym is having Christmas function next week at a bowling club: lawn bowls, games, and a barbecue, which will be fun and very unusual; much better than those affairs where everyone stands around with a drink in one hand and a canapé in the other while trying to make conversation with strangers. I just hope it's not raining.

vilakins: (office space)

The bad first. The hardware guy installed a new wireless keyboard and mouse on my office puter yesterday and things got progressively worse all day. First the mouse said its batteries were dangerously low, then it said it couldn't get a decent signal, so I moved the base station thingy closer. That seemed to work for a few hours, then the puter decided to reboot spontaneously. After that, the bloody mouse wouldn't work properly at all and the PC rebooted again, complaining about newly-installed hardware. I rang the guy and he said to unplug the new stuff and put my old keyboard and mouse back on. I did, and then the thing wouldn't boot at all. It baulked when Windows tried to load, then booted again. Sigh. Oh what fun today will be if he hasn't fixed it last night. There's little I can do without a PC and I also fear losing my work recent work. [worries]

And now the good. I've found it frustrating that I do 2-4 extra unpaid hours a week, and so I convinced them last week to let me do exercise classes next door during office hours. I start today--10 to 11am, yay!

vilakins: (office space)

The bad first. The hardware guy installed a new wireless keyboard and mouse on my office puter yesterday and things got progressively worse all day. First the mouse said its batteries were dangerously low, then it said it couldn't get a decent signal, so I moved the base station thingy closer. That seemed to work for a few hours, then the puter decided to reboot spontaneously. After that, the bloody mouse wouldn't work properly at all and the PC rebooted again, complaining about newly-installed hardware. I rang the guy and he said to unplug the new stuff and put my old keyboard and mouse back on. I did, and then the thing wouldn't boot at all. It baulked when Windows tried to load, then booted again. Sigh. Oh what fun today will be if he hasn't fixed it last night. There's little I can do without a PC and I also fear losing my work recent work. [worries]

And now the good. I've found it frustrating that I do 2-4 extra unpaid hours a week, and so I convinced them last week to let me do exercise classes next door during office hours. I start today--10 to 11am, yay!

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (gift wrapped)

Greg came home yesterday (yay!) and brought me:

Lego - no, not the sort you make up, but little 3cm-tall Star Wars characters just like those in the Star Wars Lego II Xbox game we have. There are 15 of 'em, but sadly no Han, Leia, or C3PO. They are not recommended for children below four but it's been ages since I swallowed a toy.

Jigsaw puzzles - two huge ones, two sepia which will be very challenging, and two spherical ones. Yes, spherical, not circular. The pieces are slightly curved plastic and I couldn't resist: I solved one straight away (Buzz Lightyear and lots of three-eyed aliens). You get a surprisingly strong sphere though the last couple of pieces are hard to put in without depressing an adjacent piece..
At work today, someone gave me some Lindt intense orange dark chocolate to thank me for something I did for them, and I got flowers a couple of months ago from someone else. This is such a great job; I rarely got thanked in any of my previous ones. It was usually nothing but users annoyed by bugs or improvements they saw as unnecessary change, and rude, abusive micro-managers. So I'm earning half as much; I'm a lot happier, I'm not on call 24-7, and I'm even doing some graphical design and publishing.

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (gift wrapped)

Greg came home yesterday (yay!) and brought me:

Lego - no, not the sort you make up, but little 3cm-tall Star Wars characters just like those in the Star Wars Lego II Xbox game we have. There are 15 of 'em, but sadly no Han, Leia, or C3PO. They are not recommended for children below four but it's been ages since I swallowed a toy.

Jigsaw puzzles - two huge ones, two sepia which will be very challenging, and two spherical ones. Yes, spherical, not circular. The pieces are slightly curved plastic and I couldn't resist: I solved one straight away (Buzz Lightyear and lots of three-eyed aliens). You get a surprisingly strong sphere though the last couple of pieces are hard to put in without depressing an adjacent piece..
At work today, someone gave me some Lindt intense orange dark chocolate to thank me for something I did for them, and I got flowers a couple of months ago from someone else. This is such a great job; I rarely got thanked in any of my previous ones. It was usually nothing but users annoyed by bugs or improvements they saw as unnecessary change, and rude, abusive micro-managers. So I'm earning half as much; I'm a lot happier, I'm not on call 24-7, and I'm even doing some graphical design and publishing.

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