Saturday, October 26, 2002

I just saw an article about a book which finally sounds like a psychologist who understands me. She is talking about defensive pessimism - a strategy, not an illness. The opposite of all that bright-eyed optimism (which can only get disillusioned). Of course, fundamentally, I seem to have a great deal of faith in Universe or Nature, or whatever you prefer to call it - but from day to day I don't think it is a good plan to be cheerfully ignorant. I use the aphorism of the conjuror who said he didn't fully know his act until 'everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong'. And I know that all that 'confidence in the markets, or the house prices, etc' is a confidence trick, a house of cards.

It's true that housing is becoming endlessly more valuable, but to me that is partly because of the population explosion, and partly because of the infinite credit (debt) that has been offered out (so that we are no longer slaves to landlords and rent, just slaves to bankers and mortgages). I must try and work out the difference one day (apart from the fact that it was easier to move or be moved in the days of renting....)

Anyway, enough of all that.
Ah, Saturday. And back into work. Cold and windy in Cardiff, now - although not raining, as in the last few days. Winter is definitely upon us. Julie is looking at brochures for Winter Sun, and fully intends to go cruising, I think. I can't go, not having the time or money, but I hope she enjoys it - after all, I got to Hawaii in February this year, and, although a two week break felt like a bit of an anti-climax to me ( who never previously had 'holidays' as I was, for most of my life, on what Ian Dury called the "4,000 week holiday") it was still worth it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Keili brought his mate Ian around today. We squashed into my den for a bit, and rattled a few ideas around. I am still having troubles with the PC (which was pretty smooth for my first few months of XP). Whether it is the security updates, or what, I don't know. Windows Media Player doesn't seem to want to play DVDs from work. The damn PC is still dialling out of its own accord at times (luckily, I don't pay by the minute) which is still spooky, as I can't see any scheduled tasks, and have no idea which bit of software is doing it, or whether I have a nasty little bug in there somewhere.

Fortunately, anyone who thinks I am worth cracking into - some sort of Star Wars star with a big bank account, or any secret diaries - is much mistaken. I have no property, little credit, and no secrets. It's a pretty dulll little life if you are wandering around in here. I was, am and will remain lowlife. That I got lucky here and there is only fair, I reckon.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

I started a boring day-off with a bit of cleaning. Then Michael came online, and I stopped my dull cleaning job to find him working on activating his Webcam. We had a really good hour sorting that out, until we could see each other, type words, or talk live.

Nice one, Michael! Sorry I didn't get back online later. Things happened.

Back to work tomorrow, but I learned something new, and that is ALWAYS good. Keeps you young....

Hello everyone - I will TRY to be online, but if I even HAD a mobile phone I would probably keep it switched off, because I like my ALONE time. Great though communication is, I like to be alone with my thoughts, too.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

A FIRST! I had been emailing Michael Nielsen about the SciFi convention, and he asked if I was using any online messaging (after we exchanged a flurry of emails, almost in real time). I said no, but started installing MSN Messenger, just to experiment. We started with typing, then I wanted to try talking, so we switched to Yahoo Messenger, and got the microphone going. We don't have the webcam connection going yet, but it was a blast to see how it was all done. My computer did lock up eventually, but hey...

Another thief of time, no doubt - after chatting for a couple of hours I thought that (after avoiding the mobile phone invasion, for so long) I might be opening the door to being permanently out in the market place, chatting, instead of alone with my thoughts. Still, I will give it a try. I just keep remembering the thing I put on a poster for a children's project for the Millenium.

It started with "How long would it take to count up to 1000, at one number per second? 17 minutes.
A Million? 12 days. A (US) Billion? 32 years.

So it would take 192 years just to say Hello to all 6 Billion people on the planet right now!"

Monday, October 14, 2002

It looks like I am going to do my first Star Wars Convention on December 8th.

1st World Appearance at Jedicon in Basildon UK
Went up to London on Friday. Judith followed on Saturday. We had a nice day, in spite of the rain; met Jean in the pub, and went to a delightful Spanish Restaurant, but the combination of drinking several pints first and then eating left me (speaking for myself only) feeling like a snake that swallowed a pig, so rather than more pub, I voted to go homeward - and we ended up watching Harry Potter on Pete's huge tv with whoosh whizz bang sounds.

Judith made more effort than Pete and myself to make the original plan manifest, and lo and behold, on Sunday morning we found ourselves committed to getting down to the London Eye for 11.30. It was all a bit hectic and confusing collecting tickets, and Pete got disability access (with me as carer) and we got separated from Jean and Judith, and rode alone. The view was terrrific, higher than I had imagined, even. I think Pete enjoyed it. When we all met up again later, Judith pointed out the Dali Exhibition almost next door, so I went to suss it out, found we could get a wheelchair, and we went and did that too. It was terrific.

All through the day Pete was very brave about the walking...there's some quite longish walks, not just on the South Bank, but even just changing tube trains. We did have an angel help us (in the form of a woman taxi driver who spotted our plight and ran us 250 yards to the right place to be on time). Still, (apart from the moment when I got Pete running up a down escalator by mistake - thereby losing all hope of a carer's badge!) it was worth all the travel and effort to find ourselves having successfully completed the mission.

Yes! [punches the air]

Thursday, October 10, 2002

A bit of a wild ride recently. Lots of ups and downs, comings and goings. I am learning a lot at work, right now. I am trying to collate all the material in what we call the Ethnic Dept of the library. This has all the Asian material, in about 16 languages, and it hasn't always been well maintained (not easy with Arabic script, Chinese, Urdu, etc). The new librarian for the department wants to rationalise it, and I decided to get on with learning enough Access to be able to give her my research (done in TCL - a 'programming' language) in a convenient form.

I am still poking around in the library online conference, as the magical Sysop (power!), while we put another group of staff through ICT training. Sue is the tutor, but is very tolerant of my constant flow of interruptions and comments.

Keili ricocheted back from London, after a wild ride of his own (lost the current modelling contact, so feeling a bit stranded, I guess). He has gone to stay at the Circus house for the while. No doubt we will cross paths soon, but I am probably off to London this weekend. Round and round we go.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

And the Nortons Subscription wouldn't go in, so I reinstalled until the sign came up 'you have reached your maximum number of installs - contact the firm...) Thanx fellas for the automated response to my urgent request.

Keili is setting off to London tonight - a change that has lurched into view suddenly, and rapidly accelerated. So little time.

I am alone in the computer turret this week (at work, that is) so I do what I can, but I still have large areas of ignorance, and (worse than that) have to pass things through a bureaucracy to people with large workloads and ever-shifting priorities and SLAs.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Phew! Yesterday morning Keili rang to say that my Windows XP computer would not start. I had turned it off the night before (to have a little time in my room without the background hum - that noise I live with all day at work). No joy with its recovery console, but once I had settled down, and taken a deep breath, I reinstalled XP OK, and found all the data intact (even Outlook backup files, when I thought I might have to let all those recent emails go). It took ages to download my Nortons again, and even longer to get all the bits to work.

Anyway, it's back in place, so I haven't got to apologise to contacts this way, as there has been almost no break in service. Yippee!
I am a bit haggard today, though (bed at 5, up at 8).

It sounds as though Keili is heading back off to London to tackle the modelling world again. I may well be going that way myself to fulfil a trip promised by me and Judith to Pete (now he's back out of hospital). We were talking about going up in the London Eye.

Rhiannon, too, is going away - she's off to Greece this evening.
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