Category Archives: annoyances

Seriously? Seriously?

Via various year end round ups, I happened on this piece:

Are wetsuits the burka for the cold water surfer girl?

It was written by a woman.

I spend a lot of time on cold water beaches, the sort of beaches that are cold water even in the summer. My one and only wetsuit choice is a 5mm minimum. I may go 6 this year if I can find one. I have spent time in this water. It. Gets. Cold.

But guess what, that cold is not targeted only at women. You know, on beaches where women are forced to cover over everything because It. Is. Bloody. Freezing. Men are forced to wear wetsuits too for the same reason.

 

Strange that.

So yeah, it snowed overnight

This goes out to the two drivers who left my estate before me, plus a myriad other bunch of drivers I encountered on the road to work.

Clear your car of snow. Properly.

Here’s the checklist.

  1. Clear the windscreen.
  2. Clear all the windows
  3. Clear all the mirrors
  4. Clear all the lights
  5. Clear the bonnet.
  6. Clear the roof because if you don’t, this might mean later that clearing the windscreen or the rear window was a waste of time.

I use a dustpan and brush which may or may not cause the occasional scratch but I can live with that. Said dustpan and brush is in the box in the car with the de-icer and the spare bottle of oil.

PDF reading in Windows 8

You know, I quite like the idea of a built in PDF reader coming with Windows 8. Unfortunately, I don’t know who did the testing but there is one absolutely huge problem with it. It will only allow you to read one document at a time.

This renders the application completely and utterly useless to me. It’s pointless to provide software which doesn’t give basic functionality like the ability to have two documents open at the time.

Business Week – right up there promoting the place of women in the workplace

Business Week readers invited to vote on which business school has the most attractive females
This really happened

I feel sorry for men sometimes. They try and persuade women that they are modern, forward thinking people who do not treat women purely as eye candy and who don’t judge women just on a subjective value of beauty and then a supposedly grown up business magazine pulls an adolescent stunt like this. Bad and all as it is for women, it reduces men down to making decisions about business school based on the quotient of available beautiful women. I know most men are brighter than that.

Meanwhile, Harvard Business Review is writing a piece on the progress women have made in the workplace in the last 40 years.

 

ETA – 11 November – Business Week pulled this from their website. There’s a still a reference to it on their FaceBook admittedly but it looks as though a certain amount of of outrage got through.

 

swimming in paper

One of the downsides of having moved house a few times is you accumulate a whole pile of paper and sometimes, it’s not that organised. I’m swimming in the stuff. Seriously. And I have been unmotivated to tackle it because I knew it was going to involve shredding stuff and I never seemed to own a shredder. I do now and I have now sorted back through all the paperwork so that it is in organised piles but not really organised in a brain friendly way.

I used to be very good at paperwork until I wound up living in Belgium in 1997, and then the amount of paper I had to deal with in my personal life skyrocketed. It’s now worse than it was then.

I’ve tried folders. I’ve tried expanding boxfiles. I used to keep things in neat envelopes but that really doesn’t scale up.

I shredded 25L (at least) of confetti today and it’s all waiting for me to dump in the bin. I’m probably still not finished. I don’t want this to happen again so as of 1 January, a new, very user friendly system is going to have to go into place. To make it work, it’s going to have to find a home.

I don’t know how to do this. I’m struggling with space issues as it is. Houses in Ireland – even the three bedroomed ones – are built on the assumption that no one actually owns very much apart from some clothes. Our houses are too small. And we’re too fast to tell people what they need. I was sitting up in the box room which doubles as my office. I keep important stuff in the office, the very good, and very expensive photography books that remind me I’m a photographer, somewhere, in my soul, my Open University text books.

Two of my bills are gone electronic. I’m reluctant to send my bankstatements electronic on the grounds that I still haven’t a mortgage and therefore expect to need to produce a few when push comes to shove. If I ever buy a house, something which seems to be decreasing in likelihood every day.

Post Christmas, I’ll probably start yet another ring binder which will include critical paperwork such as NCT certs, P60s and related stuff, and then take whatever new paperwork comes in. And I’ll try to keep control of it this time although it would help if I didn’t move house. Just, you know, for a year or two have a little stability.

Decluttering your life

When I came to Ireland in 1999, I was an ex-bureaucrat and I had a fairly decent fist on keeping my paperwork in order. Something has gone wrong here. I suspect part of it is linked to the lack of stability linked to having moved house several times. And part of it is the sheer volume of it I have – and this having gone digital on two key bills.

Receipts? I swim in them. Bills, letters, notifications. Things I don’t want to throw out without shredding them along with the practical difficulty of not currently owning a shredder. It is growing exponentially. I have an office which I am in the process of decluttering and it is scaring me to the extent that I will buy that shredder tomorrow and I will get some sort of control over it.

I’m just about to start another two Open University modules and one of the things I noted last year was the total absence of organisation for the last two. I don’t need that to happen again but in order to be organised about it this time, I really need to get some sort of control over all the stuff which is already disorganised. In this way I won’t go to Easons to buy A4 paper again for at least a year because guess how much of it I found buried under a pile of paper work linked to the last house move? Lots. And it’s not cheap paper either – it’s Clairefontaine which I don’t typically lose.

This isn’t me. Or,. more accurately, this did not used to be me, and I want the old me back. Maybe this is part of getting older but still…

But our lives are not really helped by the fact that the infrastructure we live in needs to be enhanced to organise all this stuff. I spent a lot of this afternoon questioning the possibility of rebooting my life, and I did, some of it. Every single digital art, Photoshop related magazine I have went to my recycling bin today. Oh I know it had to happen but listen, even having bought 5 Expedit shelving units since I arrived in this house I still don’t have enough storage. I just don’t. If I owned the house – which I don’t – I could possibly look at re-arranging thing (and buying more shelves) for more effective storage. But I can’t. I’d like to get rid of some of the furniture in this house (but I can’t).

So the alternative really was to declutter. Just get rid of stuff that I have no real emotional attachment to (like about 600E worth of digital art magazines, yes, let’s not go there) and try to avoid adding to the stuff I don’t care about so much (like digital art magazines).

I’ve a way to go before I’m finished – I’m going to bring a bunch of DVDs to the nearest charity shop (where they will need to sell them really cheaply I think to get any competition on how cheaply some of the older films are being sold for in HMV and Golden Discs these times). In the meantime, along with decluttering the physical side of my life, I’m trying to tidy up what’s going on in my head, sort out the plates I have spinning and see if I can achieve more with my time.

iOS 6 – argghh

I don’t usually bother upgrading the OS on my phone the day it comes out because usually I am too busy. I don’t, however, usually avoid doing it for long but on this occasion, I am going to have to.

Apple have replaced Google Maps with some homefried application of its own. It’s fair to say that according to most of the comments about it yesterday, it probably isn’t very useful.

My most frequently used applications on my phone are the browser, the phone, text messaging and maps. On my iPad it is probably the browser, Chilltrax, Bejewelled and the maps. In real terms, I can’t actually do without the maps. They find me when I am lost. They cover me for everywhere I have tended to need maps. I have been standing lost in the middle of Helsinki finding my way to my hotel using maps on my phone. I have used maps on my iPad to plan journeys in France and check out areas where I dream of buying houses. They regularly help me locate myself in the banditland that is anywhere south of the Liffey. Last night they helped me find Dunsink Observatory.

But it doesn’t sound like I can rely on the same accuracy from the current incarnation of Apple’s maps product so for now, no iOS6.0.