Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Home again, home again. We had a very lovely weekend, and I even managed not to get too sunburnt! (It's seemed thus far that every time I come back from Canberra I'm as red as a very red thing.) Aidan is really well, looking great (although I'm slightly biased), very fit and healthy. He's a bit stressed, and no wonder, but otherwise good.

We had dinner with my brother on Saturday night, and did our Christmas thing - I know it's a bit late, but it's the first chance we've had! He was in Japan for Christmas, and Aidan and I were at home, and our parents were at their home. I had to collect mum and dad's pressies from my brother as well, so I need to pass them on to their rightful owners shortly.

Me, I am also good. Very tired... I actually had to get up early this morning, as work has recommenced normality from today. Or as normal as it ever gets, which isn't much. I'm really really hungry, I'm thinking of going to the cafe across the road shortly... I was thinking of a toasted sandwich with bacon, egg, and cheese. Soooo unhealthy, but so nice!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow, you're always a day awaayyy!!! Just think - if nobody had written that crappy song, I wouldn't have it stuck in my head now. But I WOULD still be looking foward to tomorrow. I'm visiting Aidan, I'm visiting Aidan! I'm sorry, but I'm excited! It's been three weeks since I've seen him! I believe this is the longest we've been apart in over three years. Although next time will be longer - after this weekend, I won't see him again until the very end of February. Oh no!!! That'll suck.

So anyway, I'll be away for a few days, then when I get back I probably still won't have a computer. Have a happy Australia Day, everybody - even those of you not in Australia!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My brand new whiz-bang expensive computer has died in the arse. Again. I'm going to take it back to the shop this afternoon, which will be the third time it has had to be returned since buying it early this month. I'm reduced to blogging at work, which will have to stop next week anyway when my boss gets back from holiday! Anyway, Aidan's dad is procuring a copy of Windows XP for me, so installing that instead of Vista might be the way to go - depending on the outcome of this new attempt at getting it fixed at the place of purchase.

In other, more exciting news: I'm visiting Aidan this weekend! Two more sleeps! I like it when there's two days to go, because I say to myself, "Tomorrow it'll be tomorrow!" which I find mildly amusing plus it makes it seem sooner.

To answer Within Without's question, the picture at the top of my blog is of a sunset in Budapest, taken from just outside the catacombs under the castle. Yes, taken by me. I loved Budapest, I want to go back there one day. There is a link on the right hand side of this blog to Europe Photos, which is a selection of my favourite photos taken during that trip, and it does include the full-sized version of this photo. Enjoy :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I, my hair and clothes, and my house all smell like smoke. I would probably smell less like smoke if I hadn't gone out into the street to watch a nearby house burn. Local drama today! I didn't really see the house itself, it's around the corner and tucked in behind a house in our street. But there was an awful lot of smoke covering the neighbourhood...

I don't know a lot about what happened, but since half the population of the suburb was out on the street, we exchanged theories. I did hear somebody say the residents of the house were not at home and nobody was injured. An ambulance was there, but with no lights or noise and no fuss and bother. Probably just a precaution.

So that was today's excitement for the area. I have heard it said, and honestly, that if you ever need assistance you should yell "FIRE!!!". You can yell for help until you're blue in the face, but everybody turns out for a good fire.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I am very happy to be a person who likes to play a game. Winning is secondary to the fun of a boardgame and the company of my opponent. Actually I almost always lose boardgames. Which is fine!

[Interesting point - spell-check says "boardgame" is incorrect, but the plural "boardgames" is acceptable.]

I played three separate boardgames tonight with Andrew, and I lost all of them. Thud, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit. And then I tried to turn him into an X-Files fan and I lost on that, too!

Still, it was a fun night. I hope we can fit in a few more of them before moving. Actually I hope we can keep doing it after the move, too, although probably slightly less often!

I am often a not-very-sociable person, but when I do see people I surprise myself with how much I enjoy it. I have seen people every day since Wednesday, and again tomorrow. That's four days in a row! For a time when I'm not working, that's unusual for me! I really need to do it more. Anybody want to come over on Sunday?!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nothing makes me sadder than the knowledge that there is no law in this country against being a complete wanker.

Read this and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Well, I've done a few serious and pissed off and depressed posts of late. So I figure it's about time I told a joke.

Q - What do you get if you cross a sheep and a kangaroo?
A - A woolly jumper!

I apologise to my fellow Australians, who have all been sick of that joke since age 5. But it is just possible there's somebody out there in the big wide world who hasn't heard it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sometimes I feel very selfish! I worry about my reduced pay while I'm on holiday throughout January, I worry about having to move to Canberra, I worry about finding a job and somewhere to live there. But what I should be worrying about is the fact that malnutrition rates in children under 5 has almost doubled in Iraq since the Americans came barging in. I should be worrying about the fact that almost half of the organisms that currently exist may be extinct by 2100. I should be worrying about the fact that I need to take my shoes and socks off to count the number of homeless and destitute people in one street in Fitzroy. I should be worrying about greenhouse gases and global warming and world poverty and hunger.

What right do I have to worry only for my own sake? It was chance, luck, pure random life, that put me into a reasonably well-off family in a western country. By being born here, by taking certain things for granted, by consuming and by self-absorption, I have contributed to all of the above. I have bought petrol, and used it, spewing poisonous gases into the atmosphere. I have bought clothing and other goods made in countries known for child labour. I have put round-up on my garden, and if my mother knew that she'd have a fit.

But what can I do? How can one person fix all the world's problems? People, religions, and charities have all been trying for years. We applaud their efforts and call them saints, or set up charitable funds named after them, or occasionally donate some money to their cause. But children are still starving, people are still being exploited, countries still go to war and kill each other's citizens for no particular reason.

I think if I ever get the chance, I might go to a third world or developing nation. My Australian money would be worth a considerable amount there, and merely by living in a village I may be able to help the people there. Imagine one person in a village being able to afford to set up a productive business, and being generous enough to make it some kind of cooperative? Get everybody involved, or at least ensure a decent distribution of wealth or goods. How? How? When, and where? Is it an impossible dream?

I'm such a socialist.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Things that are still wrong with my "fixed" computer:
    Still freezes up during installations, at which point my only option is to hit the reset button because of the following point...

    Ctrl + Alt + Del (Task Manager) still does not work most of the time (particularly when I actually need it, when something is non-responsive).

    Still occasionally cannot handle doing too much at once - it crashed while ripping a CD and creating a shortcut on the desktop at the same time. Again, no Task Manager so I had to hit reset.

    I cannot access Windows updates - it comes up with an error message for which there is no resolution anywhere, only references to other people making the same complaint.

    It will no longer properly load my profile, putting me on as a "temp" user, meaning that my files are no longer easily accessible. I hope that the creation of a new profile will fix this, I'll find out next time I turn on the computer.

    The Ethernet connection to my modem has mysteriously failed due to an apparent lack of some file or other, although this was working previously. The modem is still recognised just fine via USB.

    A couple of times the computer has utterly failed to boot up - first it kept cycling, going through the start-up screens and then re-starting itself without ever reaching Windows proper. Then after I turned it off and gave it a bit of a rest, a couple of times it just got stuck after the start-up screens and sat there until I turned it off again. That hasn't happened for a little while now, might be ok now.

    Despite the assurance of the technician, the USB keyboard is still not being recognised until Windows is fully booted up. This means that to boot from a CD or enter setup, I have to get out my old keyboard instead.

I think that's about it. Take my advice and do not get Vista - at least not until Service Pack 1 is available. I tried to find Windows XP today, but apparently it is no longer made and retailers aren't allowed to sell it. Not available at all anywhere. So I'm stuck with this piece of crap OS. So long as I don't try to do anything complicated or useful, it'll be ok. I can blog, listen to music, and watch movies. But I cannot play Civilization IV or install AVG anti-virus software. I feel like I'm wearing the proverbial kid gloves, walking on proverbial eggshells, afraid to try too much in case I have to re-install Windows (for the fourth time since getting this system about two weeks ago). I've already put all my essential install files on a CD so I won't have to download them all again.

I mean, ok, I'm not a professional in IT, and I am a girl. But I have been using computers for personal purposes for ten or fifteen years now, and I know what I should and should not be able to do. This is not the rant of somebody with no clue about how computers work or the limitations of computers. Heck, my OLD old piece of mega-shit computer managed things that this new one can't! Right up until it started dumping physical memory instead of booting up, and then got left in the backyard in the rain for a few months.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure what to do about all this. I really don't feel comfortable or happy about going back to the place of purchase again, not after they claim to have fixed it and charged me for doing so. Perhaps I could email them and ask for advice. Or email somebody else. Or scrounge a copy of XP off somebody, or curb my temper and put up with it all until Service Pack 1 comes out ("first quarter of 2008").

I might become Amish.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Just don't even ask me about this week. I'm going to tell you anyway, but seriously, don't ask. Sheesh. For starters, our whiz-bang new expensive computer... I've got it back, "fixed", but it's still not exactly perfect. I had to re-install Windows again because it wouldn't boot up at all. It seems to be working ok now, but I'm holding my breath. Secondly, the boredom. Oh god. I wish there was more to do at work so I could spend more time there. I've been home alone without a computer. So depressive. (Remember I don't watch TV at all either). I've been reading a bit. Yesterday and today I saw my parents, who came down to the city for a couple of days for Christmas. I know it's late, but mum had hurt her back and couldn't come sooner. After they dropped me back at home this afternoon I spent a few hours crying without really knowing why. Loneliness, frustration, boredom - some kind of combination. The last few days the lack of Aidan has been a physical pain. It's as though something is missing inside of me, it's a big gaping hole where he should be. Every now and then I just need to wallow in self-pity for a while, indulge myself before pulling out of it. I'm a bit drunk now, the final stage of the wallowing. Tomorrow I hope to find something constructive to do. I don't like my chances though - it'll be Sunday, after all. At least I have the computer working again, so I'll have some form of company in the form of bloggers and trivia players. Also my mum gave me a gift voucher for a book shop, so I might go shopping tomorrow! I'm in desperate need of a new good book to read. I love reading. There's a book called "The Mysterious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time" which is supposed to be very good, I might get that.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I am at a public computer. I never thought I'd see the day... I am five minutes from my house, yet I have paid to use the internet in a public environment. There is a reason for this... You know that new computer I was talking about the other day? Well, it went kaput very emphatically. After owning it for only three days, we had to take it back to the shop, where they have had it since Thursday, and we still have no news on it's recovery.

Aidan has gone back to Canberra now, and I won't see him again until Australia Day weekend - 26th-28th January. I'm all alone and by myself, and only working a few days a week, and so bored and lonely! I know Aidan misses me too, but at least he's being kept very busy. The time will fly for him, he won't even notice the three weeks go by, I'm sure! I, however, have very little to do besides trying to keep myself fit and healthy. (Not easy, immediately after Christmas, as I'm sure you're aware!)

I took my scooter to the mechanic this morning to try and get the speedometer fixed... they need to order a part, it could be a week or more until it's there, so scooter remains out of action for the moment. Which is a shame, because Aidan's mum has invited me down there for a day or two next week, and I'll have to take the train and get her to pick me up from the station if I go. At least I can read on the train, I'd hate to try reading while riding the scooter!!

I don't have much time left on this thing, so I'll do a quick recap of the rest of Christmas/New Year:
Aidan's parents shouted us a night at a beautiful golf club/resort down in Cape Shank the day after Boxing Day, so that was lovely. So nice to have a night away from home, with nobody else, and no cooking or cleaning or anything to bother about. Just time for the two of us.
New Years Eve, we piked out - stayed at home and were in bed by 10pm. That's fine, no big deal. New Years Day I don't even remember what we did... probably stayed at home...
A few days after that, we went back to Aidan's cousin's place for his birthday party, it was fun but rather overshadowed by the fact that Aidan may not see them again for a very long time.

Anywho, my time on this cursed public computer is just about to run out, so off I go. I hope to be able to get back online at home soon!!!