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This is ridiculous - is there something wrong with me?
Sat'dee, Bec and I trained down to London. As we went via Cardiff, we were surrounded by people wearing red tops. These were Welsh supporters heading to watch Wales take on Italy in the 6 nations in rugby. Italy has never won in the 6 nations outside of Italy. They didn't this time, but it was a draw, and the red-tops were devastated.
Anyway, we spent a very pleasant weekend with Aaron and Vanessa, including a trip to see a wildlife photography exhibit at the museum. Our tickets said 4:15, and we were there at 4:05. Common sense says that they could let us in. Common sense doesn't seem to apply in this country, so we had to go and kill 10 minutes. We thought we'd just pop into the dinosaur exhibit. We ended up stuck in a queue for the next 20 minutes as the place was laid out like an Ikea (although the things are a little harder to reassemble!). The wildlife photography was quite good. Some of the shots were sensational. Things like a shot of a heron squeezing the gills of a fish it had caught, or tiny sea-flora floating by. The winner was a crappy out of focus photo of a bird of prey chasing a flock. If I'd seen that photo in advance, I wouldn't have gone. I'm glad I didn't.
Vanessa had been to see a purveyor of chinese medicines, and had bought a vile smelling set of herbs and stuff she has to boil and drink twice a day. Rodney, their housemate, charmingly described it as, "Arse - arse with honey - Honeyed Arse!" I don't think I actually need to describe the conversation for the next few hours. Much laughter had by all - except Vanessa, who had to drink the stuff.
Monday, I got up at 6:30 to get to the 7:45 train in the city. Not a problem, except that the tube train decided to sit and wait for 5 minutes just before it got to Paddington station, so I missed that train. Next train: 8:45. Not a problem. I'm there. What could happen?
Yep, you guessed it, they wouldn't let me on the train with my ticket, telling me that I would have to wait until the 9:45 train. This was not in the conditions on the internet when we bought the ticket. So I missed a nearly empty 8:45 train, and ended up on a packed 9:45 train. Does anyone else see something wrong with this, or is it just me?
On the train, I was doing my Welsh homework when I struck up a conversation with the three people sitting around the table. During the conversation, I asked what they did. One of them said that he's surprised I don't recognise his voice. Apparently he's a TV announcer and the other two were producers or something. I told him that I didn't have a TV. You'll be pleased to know that I didn't say anything rude along the lines of "Why would I pay £140/year to listen to an egotistical non-entity of a git like you?" in response to his observation that "must be the only one".
I got to uni just after 1PM.
My computer finally arrived. It looked battered and beaten, but it finally arrived. Yay! It arrived after 3PM, so I didn't yet a chance to do much besides set it up and test it.
Monday was also mine and Bec's one year anniversary. IBecause she was working in London for the day, I didn't actually get to spend much time with her. Aftr work, I put her present together then went off to class. She arrived home at around 8:30, and I got home after the class after 9PM.
Today...ahh, today. Here's the fun. I still can't work on my equipment because I am waiting on the electricians to install a little emergency stop switch, and it would take me marginally longer to qualify as an electrician than it will to wait for the job to be done. I can, however, play with my computer. I need to repartition the hard-drive to install linux, and this is a little more difficult with a SATA disk. Oh well. The department has computer technicians. I can borrow the software I need from them and do it myself, right? Wrong! I can fill out a form, give them a grant code, get my boss' signature and they can do it in a couple of days.
WTF!!!! A couple of days!!! Given that Rhodri is away at the moment, I can't get his signature anyway, this means that, for something I could do myself in ten minutes I need to wait the rest of the week? You've got to be fucking kidding me (note the context in which all my swearing seems to be done!) I've been waiting a month for the computer, and now I'm going to be held up for another week because of bureaucratic nonsense?
Not bloody likely. So, without the appropriate software, I had to use a makeshift solution. Upon application of said solution, the computer would no longer run Windows.
Unfortunately, Debian can't detect the hard-disk properly and Ubuntu can't partition the hard-disk, so at the moment I have 3 options (besides keep trying) - Do nothing, run Ubuntu from Hard disk, run Ubuntu from CD. At least I have the computer and the internet working, anyway.
The scariest thing, though, is that no one seems in the least bit perturbed by all these inefficiencies, all this time lost. Is it just me? Am I the only one who actually sees how stupid and inefficient this is? Or is just that I haven't become jaded and worn down by the system yet? Who knows? Maybe one day I'll consult on this - with the money I could save them just from one department, they could afford a couple of VC's salaries, even after I take my consultant's fee.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.