tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
On an unrelated note: the current political situation in both the UK and the US, and the demands from Leavers and the Right in general that Remain supporters/ Democrats just shut up and accept the new status quo, I am reminded of this excellent song from the Dixie Chicks:

Oh dear

Aug. 24th, 2012 05:36 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Anyone have any tips on discouraging clothes moths? Unfortunately, mothballs make the inside of my throat swell up, but grateful for any other suggestions...


Nov. 1st, 2011 11:12 am
tree_and_leaf: Lady Catherine de Bourgh, caption "I am most seriously displeased" (most seriously displeased)
Dear college administrator,

If you want people to return a form, then it is useful to write "Please return this form by [X]."

It is not useful to write "If you do not return this form by [X] you will have been deemed to agree to the publication of your details."

Sending out passive-aggressive notes to those who didn't return their forms saying "Return your forms on time so as not to obstruct our work!" is really not useful, especially as most of the people who didn't return their form threw it out straight away because you'd told them they didn't need to return it...

No love,


(And I will be bringing this up with the senior student; I'm not just being passive-aggressive myself...)


On an entirely unrelated note, the beta version of the new DW create entry tags is pretty good. I'm not sure about where they've put the icon selector, but that's really just a matter of what one's used to. On the other hand, the new way of handling tags is great. And while I won't use it, only having the one journal these days, the option to post as another user while still logged in to your primary account is a very nifty idea.
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Got my first essay title (on Augustine, ‘I had become to myself a vast problem...’ (Augustine, Confessions). Is thinking about oneself a good way to begin thinking about God?), due Monday at four, and promptly freaked out, to the bemusement of Lawyer, who has been an Oxbridge undergraduate before.

Though on reflection, I think the freaking out was not so much an Oxbridge/ non-Oxbridge thing, but partly down to (a) the fact that my order, including the set text, is stil not here (b) I do have two of the books on the set text, but they're still in bloody storage and I can't go and get them till tomorrow (which means that between two hours of Life and Service class at Westcott, an hour of Greek class, and two meetings with supervisors, as well as moving the boxes, reading just isn't going to happen on Friday - but it has to, because the storage contract runs out then, and anyway I need my stuff).

Fundamentally, though, it's (c) - I'm still in grad student mode, and my brain turned it into "I have to produce a chapter/ conference paper on something I know virtually nothing about in four days!"

A second year undergrad essay probably isn't required to be quite the same standard, is it?

Signed up for the Navy placement, in the end. Feel vaguely guilty about taking a soft option, but conclude this is irrational.

Aaargh! Chapel bell!
tree_and_leaf: Screaming woman with stripe of electrical discharge, caption 'Argh!! No' (The Wire). (Aargh! No!)
Humph. You may recall me mentioning that, thanks to various shenanigans involving BT's inability to just change the name on a phone bill, without cancelling and reconnecting, that I'm currently without a phone or internet at home. However, I've just had customer 'service' that makes BT look helpful and responsive.

Well, thought I, it's probably worth getting a USB modem (or dongle, as they seem to be called). So I trotted along to the Carphone Warehouse yesterday, where the salesman advised me, on the basis of their coverage, to get one from 3 Mobile Broadband. Fine, thought I, and checked the system requirements on the back of the box, which read: Windows 2000/XP/Vista or Mac OS X 128 MB of RAM, 50 MB free hard disk space or above, USB slot.

All of which I have. However, when I tried last night the installer wouldn't launch. So I combed through the documentation, which again, merely specified OS X - which, to any reasonable person, implies 'all versions of OS X', right?

So off I went to CW this morning. They were very helpful, although not knowing much about Macs; the sales guy eventually found specifications buried on the website (in a place, I believe, not accessible to the customer), which said that you required 10.4 or higher. I have a steam-driven computer which uses 10.3.9, but that doesn't change the fact that this is not what the box and the documentation supplied said (and there wasn't even a weasel about 'most OS X systems'). CW bloke agreed that this was unacceptable, and agreed to refund the modem at once; however, he couldn't refund the top-up himself...

He got on the phone to 3, and spent nearly an hour going round in circles with various departments, all of whom insisted that they couldn't refund it, and that it was my fault for not doing my homework. CW bloke, bless him, kept reiterating that customers who had bought products or services in good faith - which I had - should not be penalised for their mis-selling, and that they were in a legally dubious position, and did they really want this pursued by the courts or the bad publicity they could be in for, over £15. 3 suggested that I could sell the voucher (which, incidentally, is time limited) on to another 3 customer. CW bloke pointed out that it was ridiculous to expect the customer to go through all this hassle because of their misrepresentation of their product, and that they couldn't expect me to inflict 3 on my friends when I had just had such a poor experience. They then said they couldn't make a refund, anyway. CW bloke said no-body cared if they put it back on my card or sent a cheque, but it was unacceptable for them to just keep the money. Eventually the woman at 3 - described as the manager for retail support - said she would try to work something out and would phone me back 'within 48 hours'. Well, we'll see.

So my entire morning has vanished in irritation, and I still don't have internet access at home (nothing seems to work with 10.3.9, grr.) I probably do need to get a new computer, but even if I do have a new one before BT get their act together, I certainly won't be giving a penny to 3, ever again.

Now to compose a letter of complaint to 3...

... on the upside, I was quite impressed by the Carphone Warehouse people.
tree_and_leaf: Screaming woman with stripe of electrical discharge, caption 'Argh!! No' (The Wire). (Aargh! No!)
I think I'm going mad. I've lost £30. As in physically lost a £10 and £20 note, which I know I got out of the cashline this morning, and are now not in my wallet, or... anywhere. I must have left them in the machine.

Not good at all. I suppose the only consolation is that I at least picked up the card, but *aargh!*

This is not being my day. And I still don't know how to approach the conclusion of my thesis.
tree_and_leaf: Eowyn, tight image of dirty face, yelling.  Caption "I am no man" (Eowyn - no man am I)
So when dressing this morning, I discovered that I had spent an unknown portion of yesterday with bloodstains on the back of my skirt (which is a rather nice light sand; it's a trekking skirt and my favourite garment for summer weather, because it's light and cool and has decent pockets).

Graaah. I hope it wasn't too obvious. And also, I hope they come out...
tree_and_leaf: China cup and saucer with tea.  "Never turn down tea.  That's how wars get started." (cup of tea)
There are times - believe it or not - when I try to think about other things than theology, high churchmanship (or Star Trek, latterly, but that's by the way).

Recently, though, I feel that the universe is not helping, what with picking "More Tales of the City" as a nice distracting non-thesis related read - only to discover a bizarre plot element about a "high church Episcopalian cannibalism cult", whose members sat on the roof of the cathedral eating amputated body parts as the sacering bell was rung during the Mass going on below them,* which I found too surreal to be actually as disgusting as it probably ought to be (anyway, I do not believe Maupin's depiction of Anglo-Catholic cannibals. Quite apart from the multiple levels of theological and ethical fail, there was no incense anywhere.)

And then there's today's Doonesbury, which has strayed into bizarrely theological territory....

* Am desperately trying not to associate this with the somewhat surreal Visit London High Tea campaign:

See? Sometimes I think about other things... like tea! Time for another cup, I think....
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
In conjunction with the heading 'best internet shop for mens!!'

Genera are plumping up, making roots, and generally of welfare.
they were of pure minds, selfrestrained, most exalted of
male beings, janardana, guideth, they were not a little
astonished when they were blood on them in the old days
we have washed it.
tree_and_leaf: David Tennant in Edwardian suit, Oxford MA gown and mortar board. (academic doctor)
A friend of mine is doing a James Bond party for the launch of the new film; fancy dress is involved. Unfortunately I am rubbish at fancy dress; also, I have seen a grand total of four Bond films, and one of them was Moonraker, and I am given to understand barely counts. Help?

I am vaguely considering going in drag as Connery!Bond, because all I need to do is slur a bit, and I've got the right accent, but this doesn't exactly solve the problem of clothes. I have spent the evening, on and off, reviewing my acquaintance whom I could plausibly ask for the loan of a DJ and a boiled shirt, but the results went 'too broad shouldered; too broad shouldered; too broad shouldered; probably hasn't got one, since clerical collar counts as black tie; too broad shouldered.' Hum. On the other hand, I'd rather be Bond than a Bond girl; it adds a pleasantly subversive note (either that or silliness; probably the latter!) Damn. Am rubbish at fancy dress.

I also have to come up with a fancy dress for an African themed Cub sleepover which will not restrict my movement overly, and will also not lead to me freezing to death(!), and will preferably not have a really dodgy political subtext. Any thoughts?
tree_and_leaf: David Tennant in Edwardian suit, Oxford MA gown and mortar board. (academic doctor)
Why on earth doesn't our library stack request system have a facility to automatically request a new password? It seem silly to have to go and do it in person....
tree_and_leaf: Screaming woman with stripe of electrical discharge, caption 'Argh!! No' (The Wire). (Aargh! No!)
Made dinner.

Upset dinner over kitchen floor, irretrievably bending the pan of the Remoska as I did so, so that it won't work any more.


Then I knocked over some more things in the kitchen, then went out to the Italian take-away round the corner. And dropped my change into a basket of packets of biscuits below the counter.

May be turning into Tonks.

On the upside, the involitini I ended up having for dinner was quite good. Am cross about the Remoska, though. It's an extremely useful thing.

Also, and more amusingly, have just been talking to one of the flatmates, who is doing Middle English and Scots. "It's really interesting listening to you," quoth she, "I can really hear why they spelled 'which' and 'when' with a qh in Scots..."
tree_and_leaf: Spock looking horrifed; caption "Illogical!" (illogical)
Dear Ex-flatmate,

you've done a lovely job cleaning the flat, and I appreciate the thought of putting the teatowels and so on in the wash, but even if you didn't have time to unload the washer, given that (a) you knew I was away and (b) you hadn't told me you'd done any washing and (c) you'd unplugged the washer when it finished, it would have been an excellent idea to have at least opened the drum, because after 72 hours sitting there stewing, it just needs washed again, only hotter....

Also, that bathmat was mine, damn it!

ETA: also, the German tax system is making me cry. How do I get a tax number? Do they have an equivalent of the PAYE system? Why do they make it so difficult to find out how to pay tax on money for a spot of freelancing when you won't be a resident by the time you get paid? And why is it so impossible to find out who the correct person to call is?

And why do I keep having to stop myself from writing cracky Narnia fic about Caspian's attempts to write science fiction when I have so much more important things to do?


Oct. 18th, 2007 04:39 pm
tree_and_leaf: Screaming woman with stripe of electrical discharge, caption 'Argh!! No' (The Wire). (Aargh! No!)
Dear Freiburg public transport authority: what the hell do you mean, you can't accept either an Oxford Bod card or an ISIC as proof of student status "because they're valid for too long"?

And the School of Mediaeval and Modern Languages is not a sodding laguage school, it's an academic section of a university. A fairly well known one, at that.
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Oh, and Granny had a mini-stroke today. We're told it's nothing to worry about, and the hospital checked her out and sent her home. Might be the result of the change of medication.

Not good, though :( .
tree_and_leaf: Spock looking horrifed; caption "Illogical!" (illogical)
The DAAD (Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst) provides a combined health and personal insurance scheme for visiting academics and students. The tarifs are as follows:

Men: € 69 per month.
Women: € 205.50 per month (not covering prescriptions for the Pill, which is ironic given that the only possible justification for a higher charge for women I can think of is that they might find themselves in an interesting and expensive condition).

I shall not be insuring myself with them. Sexist bastards!

Why? How?

Apr. 20th, 2007 06:11 pm
tree_and_leaf: Screaming woman with stripe of electrical discharge, caption 'Argh!! No' (The Wire). (Aargh! No!)
How can a lever arch file of notes and photocopies just vanish? How?

Naturally, precisely when I need them to check references...

ETA: it turned up. Amazing what even a bad dinner followed by thinking about something else (in this case playing bowls with the second year) will do. I still think it was hiding, though.


tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)

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