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Kathryn can stay! We finally got the Visas back yesterday; well, visa. Kathryn's now allowed to stay here until we leave, unless that takes more than 2 years. I was incredibly relieved, since we're going on holiday in the not too distant future and need passports for that.

So that's good.

Also good, I had my eyetest today; in 5 years my eyes have hardly changed. In fact, one eye is exactly the same and one is so very slightly different they recommended no change in prescription. I also have no signs of macular degeneration - which is good - my mum's got very serious degeneration and I'm slightly worried about my eyesight (long term) but they checked it today my field of vision is hunky dory.

I will just have to take care of my eyes.

I was sat reading the contact lens sign and really want to go back to wearing lenses; but can't at the mo. If this allergy clinic does the Sublingual allergy treatment, that might mean I could, which would be awesome beans.

I was also good today for numerous reasons:
- I actually walked to town and back, rather than driving, despite it being cold.
- I sorted out my debts a bit. A very nice woman at the bank explained that there is a way to avoid early repayment charges on a loan, so my debt is now a loan. I must not take the credit cards with me anywhere.
- I didn't buy the Nikon D70s I saw. I'm even not buying it now, despite knowing it's quite a good price.
- On a smaller scale, I didn't buy lunch. I bought a drink ('cos I was thirsty after leaving hour earlier than I needed to (yes, I'm stupid sometimes)).
- I went and dropped off my prescription at the doctor's - so I should be able to get my new nose-spray on Monday.

I've also been good:
- Yesterday I fixed the car's exhaust. Well. Improved. Fixed might be an overstatement. It's now only fouling the suspension at extremes of travel. Having beaten crap out of the bit that you can't replace for about an hour I managed to move the 45 degree joint by about an inch and a half - a good chunk of the two inches I needed. I think it's leaking less now. Not quite sure how to get it that last half inch tho'.
- I got the iPaq working on the Mac. Well, technically it's working through Windows 2000 on VMWare on the MacBook. The GPS bit should work, and so before we go to Ireland I need to fork out for a new CF card for it - a much bigger one - then I can have Europe maps...and an MP3 player in the car again. That would rock my little world.

Also good:
Royksopp's new video. Many people seem to have missed this, and it's excellent.
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So, the Dell and the Apple are both now on ebay. Shinymac and Lapytopy will hopefully go to new owners, although to be honest, I doubt the Dell will sell. Added to the near 100 quid I got from the first auction I'm hoping that I'll get enough from the Apple (starting bid 580 quid) that a MacBook (or ideally, a MacBook Pro) will be mine. I doubt the latter, but the former's definately achievable. It's a little weird to think that in a week I won't actually have a 'main' computer. The RiscPC's a bit past it, and the EntMac's only connected to a TV (and not a HiDef one) so isn't really useable in that way.

The DAF's been ministered to, yesterday the throttle stuck open, the kink in the cable caught on the cable inner and it also seemed to possibly be unhooked at the pedal end. I've checked it over, and it shouldn't happen again - but when the new inner arrives (it's going to the new DAF) then I should hopefully be able to replace it without too much pain.

This time I shan't kink it.

I went to pick up Kathryn after work yesterday, missed her junction and got to travel all the way into London before I could turn around. The traffic was awful and I ended up being around 40 minutes late :( But, it did mean that Kathryn had the opportunity to go out for more driving practice yesterday, and we pootled around Slough. Apart from the incident with the pedals (before we moved at all) there weren't any problems, but the traffic was lousy, and it opted to snow, which was a little cruel. Today I'm hoping to put an hour or two into clearing the garden a bit. I'm just going to suck down my Chai.

I've been incredibly lazy today. Really, ridiculously lazy. Although, to be fair, it took me ages to get the Dell posted on e-bay. It's taken days, actually, 'cos the photo-upload wasn't working last night.

As a side point, I've been listening to far too much VV Brown and The Ting Tings. The bloody VV Brown song (Crying blood) keeps getting stuck in my head. Too damn catchy.

And I keep wandering about going 'Aaaaree yoooooooou caaaaaalling meeee darrrrrrlin(g)...'

I had something else to ramble about, but I've forgotten. I blame the Ting Tings.

Oh, no, I remember; I finally got around to entering Snapshot Hunter again. It's not a great shot, some of the ones up there are way better (already, and we're only on like the 6th photo), my excuse is that my camera dies after 8 photos now. Do I need new batteries? Yes I do. Not this month though, I think I've spent my money for this and next month.

Oh, and yes, my minimal bid is on the shite DAB adapter. I won the amplifier, so we're all go for taking the Radiomobile to bits. Anyway. Chai. Garden. Collect Kathryn.
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Said my body at 4:45am. I'm not quite sure why, I think I was woken by my throat, and then my brain started listing all the things I need to do today. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) Kathryn said I wasn't to do anything that might upset my throat further - so my cunning plan to strip the paint on the door frames, and uh, paint them is off*.

I've still got a fair bit to get on with. When the frost's melted a bit I need to take jejy round to the tyre place, having found that the 'slow' puncture's got quicker, and that it's leaking from the valve. Now I can point and go "look, it's leaking from the valve; that's definately your fault, please fix it". I also am debating getting an external enclosure for my now spare SATA hard drive (what? why?!)...

Let me explain. I want to sell the G5 Mac. The G5 Mac currently sports 2 largish harddrives, a lot of memory, a 20" monitor, a 14" LCD monitor and so on. To sell it, I have two options:

1) Dump all my data onto and remove the second HDD.
2) Copy all my data onto the 500Gb ex-entertainment-Hackintosh drive in an external drive case and then nuke the two drives.

I think the latter is probably the better solution. Whilst it will cost 20 quid, it will probably add more than 20 quid to the value of the Mac, selling it with two big hard drives in. Mind you, if one of them is bigger than 500Gig it'll be being swapped around.

At any rate, I've been travelling in the DAF a lot recently, and it's come to my attention that the Radiomobile radio doesn't work...

It did work when we got the car, it stopped working a while ago, and has not spontaneously reanimated itself. But I rather like the look of it. Ratty and tatty though it is, it's part of the car's 1970s charm. The plasti-chrome is peeling and the volume knob turns on it's spindle. But I have a solution. Rip out its guts and throw them away.

I've finally found a cheapie company making (almost certainly lousy quality) automotive amplifiers (but you're in a car with no soundproofing to speak of). In fact, the one I've bid 75p for (but £9.99 shipping) also sports 2 inputs (but no means of switching between them, switches, presumably, are extra). But since I intend to gut the poor wee beastie, that's fine. I'm also hopefully going to get my grubby little hands on one of the Matsui DAB tuners. Back before I planned to move to Canada I debated buying one of these for the Minor. But they were 30 quid at the time.

Now, at a few quid second hand, they're tempting to again be the subject of my soldering iron. The plan is simple; gut the DAB tuner, gut the amplifier, make Radiomobile into DAB tuner. Leave socket for MP3/CD player. And lo, we'll have the perfect modern stereo in a 70s box.

Mind you, that's how it is in my head. How it'll work in practice is another question. The other thing I quite fancy, having driven the car a while now, is a small amount of illumination around the air vent controls and the hot/cold air selector sliders.

I usually end up waving my arms around under the dashboard to find them (when driving in the dark) so a little glowy white LED illuminating the up/down arrows seems quite tempting to me. And a little red/blue illumination on the hot air and cold air sliders also seems like quite a nice idea (potentially mounting them in a small piece of sanded perspex to diffuse the light). I'm slightly concerned she might look a little boy-racer though with the blue/red glow eminating from the dash, but at least I'd be able to control the temperature while driving without too much concentration. I'm also slightly concerned that I might get overly attached to Jejy. But hey.

This all comes about because I need to prepare Jejy to be Rebecca's temporary replacement while I fit the diff (when it arrives), the gearbox (when it's ready), the new swivel pins (when they're manufactured; if ever), trunions, poly-bush the front suspension, and repaint the damaged paint areas of the engine bay. Oh, and strip out the dash, find all the things that are rattling, stop them from doing so, clean out the heater, fit a new inline heater control valve (from a golf, apparently), and potentially convert her to Left Hand Drive (which involves moving the brake master cylinder and associated plumbing, remanufacturing the dash I made (otherwise the worry gauges will all be in front of the passenger), fitting the other gearbox front plate and somehow working out how to lock and unlock the passenger door from the outside), oh and ideally fitting a heated rear window that works, and in a perfect world sending off the speedo to be recalibrated, the revcounter to be reinternalised and the clock to be made to work (a car with a working clock! that'd be a novelty).

Just a short list of jobs...

So Jejy may have to do service for the minor for a while. Which is why I fancy a radio and a CD input.

Anyway, today I need to get my act together and sell the Mac, and possibly the Dell (although I doubt the dell is going to sell). And in aid of getting started, I shall now have my breakfast.

* Yes, yes, I know she's right, but it seemed like a good idea in my head :)
pyoor_excuse: (Default)
So, with me taking the DAF more days than not last week I had plenty of time for contemplation on my journeys - the DAF having no working Radio (she came with one, it just, somewhat unfortunately, died).

The Canada plan had been troubling me not because I'd any less desire to do it, but my cunning plan of funding the move by selling the vastly more valuable house (having done it up and added central heating and so on), and skipping all the way to Canada on tens of thousands of ill-gotten gains has somewhat vaporised. The house is probably worth more money than I/we've put in; or at least, it will be when it's all finished and painted, and when the standard of finish can be shown off.

But it's unlikely to do what I hoped, which is to give a big chunk of cash on which we'd be able to live and sort out where we want to live in Canada, and to give me those ever elusive 'savings' of which I've heard so much about.

I've found out that, apparently, I'm actually in-line for some inheritance from the death of my Grandparents. This is somewhat of a surprise. I've no idea how much; it could be £3.50, £3500, or £35,000. I don't know whether it'll help sort out the financial situation I find myself in; and clear the decks which'd make me feel more hopeful about fleeing this place.

It is terrifying for me though; the idea of ripping up my life, small as it is, and moving it, roots and all to another country. I know my mum did it before me, and Kathryn's here in this foreign (to her) land. I know Kathryn will look after me, and hold my fear in a bright shiny ball that I can gaze on and see it's beauty, but it's still scary.

I've spent 30 years in this land of rain, semi-detachment and knowing how it works. Knowing that if I don't know, I know who to ask. And suddenly I find myself with this idea of being in a land where I won't know how any of it works. Where I'll be the foreigner, and where my very Englishness will make me stand out.

What does scare me is I don't fit in here. I am quirky and strange, and I don't think people quite know what to do with me. Apart from my friends. I don't readily fit into a pigoen hole, and I don't want to end up without the freindships I managed to make here.

Anyway. Thoughts.

In other news: the Ent Mac contained more dust than it should've. I spent some time with the Air Duster cleaning it out, it's now substantially less dusty. It's open, at the moment, as it's copying the contents of the drive 'Baird' to the new drive 'Baird' (can y'guess where the TV/Videos are stored?). I didn't realise it boots of a PATA drive.

Incidentally, PCWorld: No SATA cables?! WTF? They are a PC shop. *rolls eyes*. Did play with a MacBook though. It was shiny. I think I'd want a matt screen though, which is a bugger. I find it hard to imagine spending the cash on such a thing. But there y'go.

Continuing to enjoy Danielle ate the sandwich and have added the Ting Tings and VV Brown to the list.
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So, it's that time again (already?!) when I stay up most of the night to try and swing my body around to nights. This is, of course, tedious. I actually have something I want to be doing; I want to be capturing my mum and Paramito's wedding - I plugged in the Miglia box, went to load FCP and realised that FCP isn't installed anymore. Then I looked around the chaos that is the desk, and considered weeping openly. I checked the OS X box in the hope that, like Photoshop I'd've stuck the disks somewhere 'sensible'. But of course, I haven't. I've no idea where FCP is.

This is 'upsetting', to coin a phrase. It's what I'd planned for the entire evening. Capture and then FCP my evening away editing first M+P's, then Kathryn and my ceremonies.

I may have a solution though, so we'll see if it works out.

Anyhow, since I've got some time to kill, here's a little early on review of the Vibram Five Finger KSOs.

I'd been intrigued by these since [ profile] howlsthunder  mentioned them, the concept of bare-footing without bare-footing, and the positive statements she'd made about stress on joints and comfort made me think, hrm, worth a shot. I'm used to paying around 15 quid for my runners, the most expensive shoes I've got are my £55 Doc Martens that I bought for work, and which, are now 5 years old and still in service. My *best* pair of shoes, which I wore to destruction were a pair of £6 boots from Bacons, or PriceLess or Shite-CheapoShoe in Birmingham (not even a particularly salubrious bit of Birmingham) - they were in a sale, and I loved and loved them.

So forking out around 60 quid for a pair of runners, not least runners which actually consist of, frankly, very little, was a bit difficult for me. That and the buggers wouldn't ship to the UK...

But having bitten the bullet, so to speak, I ordered them and they were delivered to Kathryn's Mom's house while we were in the States (just). We'd already left, but we were meeting up to say bye, and they kindly brought the runners with them. After a bit of wiggling I managed to get my toes in the right holes. It wasn't difficult per-se, but I have quite long and dexterous toes (monkey like ;) ). I proceeded to wander around the hotel lobby in a very odd way.

My first thought was that it was freeing, and also that the world seemed a more tactile place.

I've not managed to get much wear time in; my job means I can't wear them at work, but I've worn them to the shops, and just around about. And I think my first opinion was right. The world is just a more interesting, tactile place. I've always liked my experiences on the visceral side; mountains, sea, forests, fresh air, dirt. I drive a car with the minimum between me and the road because I want to *feel* the road. I ride a bike so I can feel the world going by. I take joy in the world. These shoes enhance that joy.

Going outside barefoot tends to hurt my puny feet. Pointy rocks and bits of jagged stuff dig in and make it an uncomfortable experience. The Fivefingers, well, it's like going barefoot. The difference between KSO's and a pair of ordinary runners is like the difference between, say, a Ford Mondeo and an Ariel Atom. I was concerned that the KSO's, like my ancient Lonsdale (OneStar clone) runners, would suffer from the thin sole making walking on Concrete or Tarmac (or any hard surface) uncomfortable. But the majority of my walking has been on such surfaces and it's not been a problem so far....although the sight of grass or earth or pebbles leads me to disregard any pretence of decorum and stalk over to whichever surface it is, then walk about on it like a cat, while saying "OOoooh, textured!" (or possibly "Pebbles!").

I've found that zipping up and down stairs and perching, my balance is better. My toes are able to do their job and curl around things or adjust my posture to make me more stable (and lord knows, I need stability ;) ).

The only bad things I've found are that there's no ability to try them on before you buy; mine are very marginally smaller than I'd like, I think, but Howlsthunder suggested that the next size up is actually 'huge', since they don't do half-sizes. I think the next size up would be too big, but I'd like to check. I'm sure that with wearing the KSO's and me'll get used to each other. It's really a couple of millimeters I want, and just on one toe (the big / great toe).

The other thing is people's reactions to them; most people don't look that closely at your shoes, but Paramito's comment I suspect sums their opinion up when they do: "Grotesquely ugly". I actually don't think they're ugly at all; interesting is the word I'd've applied. It perhaps doesn't help that mine are the black/black KSOs, which essentially swarth your feet in a layer of black material and plastic. But quite honestly, these aren't shoes for people who care about what people think. If you spend your life wondering whether you're looking suitably fashionable and cool, these aren't the shoes for you.

But they are the shoes for me, 'cos while I don't want people to go 'ugh' when they see me, I'd rather be reasonably comfortable than knacker my knees any day :)

And there endeth today's review.

Quick pop quiz, is Katy Perry's song 'I Kissed A Girl' derogatory or not? I quite enjoy it, in that way that I do, but then I have my concerns about an artist who's toured US churches and makes comments on her Christianity. Previous knowledge suggests that US Churches, as a rule, do not look on being gay favourably.... and that makes me 'suspicious'. Unfortunately it's a boppy bouncy song, and I'm known for liking boppy bouncy songs.


Jul. 5th, 2008 01:15 pm
pyoor_excuse: (Default)

So, my mum asked me to make a playlist for her wedding; it's only a few people who'll be there, and my mother (as usual) wishes to shake her bootie (I think, knowing my mum, that's about the best term for it).

This is - in theory - easy. I have a vast collection of music, and I did in a past life DJ. So, plan was I'd sit down at the Mac, connect to the EntertainmentMac and throw together a playlist of 70s and 80s (and possibly some 90s) music that my mum could get her groove on to. Yeah.

In the last few days the Router decided, somewhat randomly, that instead of taking the full 128bit insane-o-line-noise like password that we've been using for the past year it would, instead, take only the first 8 characters of it.

This hasn't been too much hastle, it's been annoying, certainly, but not insane amounts of hastle because all I had to do was chop the passwords down on the connecting computers and suddenly network connectivity came back. I'll grant it took me quite a long time to work out why the newly installed G4 laptop wouldn't connect. But once I'd got there it was all fine and dandy. Except I'd forgotten about the evil that lurks upstairs.

See the G5 has no posh apple gidgets to connect wirelessly, instead in has the fairly dismal Buffalo Airstation. It only has this because Nikki and Kate are very lovely and understanding my plight gave me one of their unused ones. I say dismal because while it functions adequately it's certainly got it's quirks and one of it's major quirks is that the default IP address of the one they gave me is not mentioned online or in any manual anywhere. I'm convinced I wrote it down. I put it on a stickie or something. But... I've had to reinstall the mac, the ent mac and the laptop since then and I can't find this vital piece of information.

And Nikki is out.

And so I've spent a frustrating hour going through all the 'default' IP addresses I could find:

Trying to find out if I can get it's IP address from it's MAC address (theoretically, yes. Easily? No). Fiddled with resetting it, trying to use the auto-magic-connect-to-a-router (it connected to a neighbours one!). I've wrestled with a strong desire to hurl it from the house, along with all the other shonky pieces of crap that muck up technological equipement. And instead decided to wait, and I'll do the music tomorrow, or whenever I've spoken to Nikki. Assuming she can recall it's default IP address. Otherwise I suppose I can write a little script that cycles through and pings each IP address from to, until it finds it. But I fear that might take some time. Why Buffalo did this I don't know. 

At any rate, I'm going to go and spray the car, which while it's not that rewarding (in so far as I'm doing a gash job incredibly quickly) is, at least, something I can actually *do*.

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You can probably expect more updates as Kathryn's gone back to the states for Xmas; more on that in a bit. I thought I'd give you all a quick update on our early Solstice. So, Kathryn and I have already had our Solstice/Xmas celebration; we had a very chilled morning (and not just because the house was cold), slept in really late and when we finally got up we had a relaxed day mostly chilling. I had an argument with Windows on the lounge PC - having set up a temporary wired network I set it copying files. It did what appears to be a random selection of them, didn't report any errors though, and foolishly I didn't check that they'd all come across. I then deleted a bunch of stuff off the laptop and have spent several days finding all the things which went missing during the copy.

Anyhow, we opened prezzies, Kathryn got me a gorgoeous Retro Computing book; arty geekery! She's also got me something unknown, which is still floating in the aether of the Post Office. As, apparently (and frustratingly) is our VOIP adaptor. Anyhow, we then cooked a very nice (and veggie) Christmas Dinner - complete with Yorkshire pud, brussel sprouts, parsnips (although these were way underdone; in future I know to cook them for much longer), and a not very Christmassy Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole (what can I say, it's gorgeous!). Read more... )
Anyhow, back to work tomorrow, so Merry Xmas everyone, have a great day :)

le sigh

Nov. 30th, 2007 10:41 am
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So, yesterday was a good day (apart from the transient death of a laptop. It seems the power connector's gone now (in addition to the cable and the case, the screen's occasionally flickering too. I think it might be time to take it apart); tiring but everything went remarkably well. Despite the 6 miles travelled in the last year, Rebecca aquitted herself beautifully; carrying me the 120 miles (with the brief stop at my mum's to collect new wings) without any untoward experiences (apart from a petrol leak, which I was faintly aware of, but only actually checked up on once I'd got up there).

It was a gorgeous day, and oddly, for someone who's lived in the UK all their lives, the sunny-but-cold air reminded me very strongly of Canada. I guess, doing Rebecca is largely a step towards Canadification, and having thought about it getting Canada out of my head was hard. Poor old Rebecca though, her engine sounded so sick by the time we got there - running essentially on 3 cylinders except at higher revs...

Anyhow, Jonathon of JLH is very friendly - and we chatted for a while and looked around at the Zetec engine'd minors, and the minors undergoing major structural rehabilitation, and chatted of rebuilds topping £50,000... And I looked at my poor tired Rebecca, her subsistence motoring existence having taken it's toll; rusty wings, rusty doors, knackered engine and such, she won't be getting one tenth of that; but she her reliability is something which has left me with no small measure of respect for the engineering behind her.

Anyhow, at the end of the day we headed to Leamington Spa; unfortunately getting stuck behind a learner driver - my train ticket was for 1800, and as he suggested 2 sets of (red) traffic lights from the station, I sprinted from the car and made it to the station at 1803, fortunately, my train was delayed and came in at 1806, just as I scrabbled up the stairs to the platform. I probably had about a minute to spare - and y'know what, I felt sick as a dog as I sat on that train. I sat there reading Scott Pilgrim (vol 1, I needed to start again at the beginning); and drifted off to Canada in my head again.

I was back, sitting on the GO heading back to Mississauga, new copies of Scott Pilgrim in hand, from a day in Toronto. As the train pulled into Oxford (where I changed) I was thoroughly in that headspace. Finally got back to home just after 8, stopping at the Kebab van for dinner...

Today, theoretically hasn't gone badly. I've paid the council tax bill (after some argument with the home hub and the hub phone). Internet Exploiter didn't want to start today, and Firefox is still doing it's "i think I'll stop and rest for a bit" at random moments. The laptop is however working after some wiggling of cables and connectors, so I guess reparing that is something I can look forward to. I may well switch it for a standard power connector, since then I can ditch my mini-adaptor. I just really don't want *more* jobs to do. The fan heater in the lounge also needs stripping down and repairing, and this time I'm peeved with I&A car services.

They're great, in-so-far as being a garage I actually trust. But they're slow. Or at least, when I booked my car in before they had it for several days and didn't do anything, none of the service was done. This time, they collected the car (although it was no longer booked in), have had it for 3 days, and now want it for another 3. 6 days is a hell of a long time to have a car.

Colour me unimpressed.

Come the spring it'll be back to car servicing I fear. It's cheaper and it's quicker. I'm down a car for a few hours, rather than days. Le *sigh*.

I guess I should get on with the house, but I'm just somehow feeling really fed up. Poot.
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Okay, so shoot me. I'm taking my morning more or less, no actually I'm taking a chunk of my morning off. I may go and prod at the paint in the bathroom, I may not, I may turn on the water to the cistern, I may not. We shall see.

I actually got up hugely early, but the thing is - the thing is I've got to drive to my mum's to collect the wings for my mog, and the drive to the midlands to drop off Rebecca before waiting until 1800 for my train back. I'm hoping to have a big wait between heading up there and the train on the way back, but I can't promise that'll be the case. I was hoping she'd run better once she'd got some fresh petrol in her, but actually despite starting and running, she's still rough as sin.

So, anyhow, I've spent my morning doing stuff all. I've downloaded some nipod management tools, I've downloaded something which claims it can remove all my dupilicate mp3 files (ha, I've tried this before... but hey, it's worth a shot). I'm still converting several gigs of Kathryn's AAC (into mp3) files for placement on the nipod, although the application I've got in my sweaty little paws says it can do that on the fly while copying and integrating sorta with iTunes. Which is cool beans.

've spent some time trying to find a prezzie for one of my friends; frustratingly I dreamt the perfect present for this friend last night; sadly however it doesn't *actually* exist. I had my doubts, and searching the net has confirmed them, distressingly.

But you have to look, don't you?

Yesterday I stripped an awful lot of paint from the radiator. It's about 2/3rds done. I'm thinking I might mark out the channels to cut in the kitchen and then tomorrow I could do that, to give me a break from paint stripping. Ha, we could knock up a faux kitchen in a day, don't'cha think? Maybe? Heh. Anyhow, I should go shower, really.
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So, yes. Another day of tiling ahead, and then some grouting - and stripping the old radiator down. There's four more days in this week and in those four days I'm hoping to achieve:

- Tiling and grouting complete around sink, bath, shower, toilet and radiator's locale.
- Woodwork (behind radiator) painted.
- Radiator stripped and repainted.
- Radiator pipework completed and radiator connected.
- Temporary kitchen surfaces up in
- Pipework run under the floor in the kitchen to connect up lounge radiator, with take off fitted but switched off for kitchen radiator.

With that little lot completed we can call in the gas engineer and get the new boiler fitted; which would mean actually having heating. A blessing of unimaginable proportions. I'm lucky in so far as I don't have to get up *every* morning at 5ish, which Kathryn does. At least some days I can wait until the weak sunlight has started to filter down; and also I can just sit and wait for the heater to warm up the bathroom (speaking of which...) and for hot water that is truly hot.

So having heating that can take the house up to a reasonable temperature would be really rather nice.

At the moment, the fire in the lounge isn't really able to make the lounge warm by itself, probably 'cos that back door doesn't shut, which is another job that should be (and is) on my list.

So that's my day planned out, when the shower's warm I'll be heading in there. But there's a trifling issue which is occupying my mind - that of my laptop. A while back firefox became such a pain to use (pausing every page load or scroll or on change of focus for up to 10 seconds) that I switched (albeit temporarily in my head) to IE. IE is awful, it's stayed awful, and I still think it sucks. However, it does to a greater or lesser extent, work on here. However, now in the list of oddities has arrisen another; the laptop's started to crash. With fair but not incredible frequency it'll just lock up completely. Not ctrl-alt-del-able, not power-button-hold-for-offable but solid dead crash. Out with the battery and power cable crashes.

Following this last one we had failed services on startup and Control Panel wouldn't open... It seems to have 'settled down again', but I suspect it's coming time for a mighty reinstall. I want to try Linux again on here, since I can't have OS X; which means getting the linux install disk onto a machine with a burner. Since the PC in the lounge is *also* waiting for a reinstall (house has priority!), then that'll be the Mac (which is currently somewhat of a blank slate, since I got the install to work but it's not yet got any actual software on there, really. I've got Toast, just not installed). So I'm thinking I best get sorting things, and get all the data off here pretty soon otherwise things are likely to suck, in all reality.

Still, that's where we're at. Cold, mostly....

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