Monday, 30 March 2009


Tsk, this is getting ridiculous.
OK internets, I have a confession to make.
I only have access to you on the weekends.
Well, unfettered access.

My workplace is unfairly suspicious of its employees' intentions and seems to think we'd spend the entire day looking at pictures of kittens or watching viral videos so they have blocked a lot of websites, and I mean A LOT.
Actually I'm kind of impressed.
Most of the websites we need for work are easily accessed but anything that might be a webcomic or social networking site is on the 'no no' list.

As I live in an area outside of the city that hasn't yet embraced the idea of internet cafes, my other option is the free internet available at the local library. Unfortunately they too have concerns about their patrons' online behaviour and have blocked many photo sharing sites and forums, almost anything to do with online gaming and yet I can still log on to Whitechapel.
Strange fish to slip through the net. Ha Ha Ha! Pun!*

And I haven't yet invited you into my home, internets.
It's not that you wouldn't be welcome, well some parts of you, it's just... well first I'd have to look at the different types of internet packages available and the conditions attached and the costs and all those lovely details and along with buying a watch and a new winter coat I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

But I'm going to soon because only getting to trawl the fun bits of the internet when I visit friends and family is a) annoying and b) kind of rude, what with the ignoring them for hours on end whilst I giggle at webcomics or lurk on forums.

In some ways it's an advantage because when I finally do come to check in on my favourite sites the magical internet fairy has come and updated them several times and there's plenty to see.
Unfortunately there are also disadvantages such as missing out on events announced or messages that people have sent to email systems that I don't have access to during the week.
There is also looking like a bit of a technotard because I've made a mistake and have then left it there for all to see for weeks on end until I notice they exist... Or don't, of course.

Even with this blog, on more than one occasion I've hit 'Save Now' instead of 'Publish Post' and haven't noticed because I've gone rushing off to do something else or attempt to be less antisocial and haven't been able to look at the webpage during the week because it's blocked at work and then have continued not to notice for weeks at a time as I leap onto the internet, fling things onto it and then run away yet again.

Until I get myself organised I'll have to keep on as I have been but I'm going to at least double-check that I've posted things correctly otherwise I'll end up looking like a damn fool.
Sort of like now.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm just going to fix March and then I'll go look up internet packages.

* Sorry I've been watching a lot of Harvey Birdman lately, it's been
Ha Ha Ha! Everything! this week.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Tonight I Have No Doona*

This is because one of the cats, probably the smaller one, decided to go tinkles on my brother's bed and as I'm only home on the weekends he borrowed my doona whilst his is being exorcised/washed.
By the time I got home this weekend and heard this exciting story he had already achieved unconsciousness wrapped in my cosy blanket but I'm not fussed because it's not yet cold enough for me to need it and also this makes me laugh.

As the only person who leaves my room completely open at all times to kitty access and perusal I am richly rewarded by never being the focus of their occasional ire.
Anyone who, worried about the exact peril that befell my sibling, chooses to keep their room quarantined will be punished during the merest slip of vigilance with a urine-based demonstration of exactly what at least one of the cats thinks of this.
They don't do it very often but when they do they never do it to me.

My slow transformation into a crazy old cat lady continues smoothly and despite my lack of doona I will be quite warm tonight.
I've got the cats :-D

*Doona = eiderdown, duvet, counterpane, comforter

Saturday, 14 March 2009


One of the supermarkets near my flat has just installed a bank of those self-service checkouts.
After some in-the-field research and speculation I have decided that I don't like them.

Sure they have some good points, shy people are more likely to buy condoms, pregnancy tests or items of a personal nature; you can pack your own groceries and don't have to stop the checkout kid from putting tins of food on top of your bread or carton of eggs; and they take up less space and help speed up the tempo of the store so you can get in and out quicker but the bad points seem to outweigh the good.

Firstly, without the perceived judgement of the checkout clerk or other shoppers in the queue certain folk may be far more likely to make food purchases that are bad for them which they know they shouldn't be making but can't quite reign in their impulse control enough to reject. I speak from experience :-b

Secondly, the more of these self-service checkouts they install, the less actual staff they have to employ and train and now is not the time to be phasing people out.

And the biggie, thirdly, for some people the supermarket checkout represents the sum total of their regular social interaction.
Public transport ticketing systems are automated, you can buy almost anything online and certain lines of work don't require any verbal communication at all* so this may have been their only moment of mandatory small-talk and the more they're able to avoid it the more difficult it will become and the less likely they'll engage in it voluntarily.

This probably sounds a little 'back in my day' or 'you're taking this too seriously technophobe' but I do think it's a factor.
Some people will always be social and tactile and interactive no matter how many virtual options are available and some people will always struggle in those situations but the less practise they get the more likely they are to withdraw.

I'm not saying people should be forced into situations they're uncomfortable with but without a little push and a bit of chance I might not have found out about or become involved with a lot of the parts of my life and the close friends I really value now and I would hate to have missed out on that.

And that's why I think self-service checkouts are The Matrix.
Thank you.
Wait, what?

*And of course some people don't work

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sparkle Sparkle!

I have been cleaning the ever-living heck out of my house this week.
'How domestic!' you might think, 'How quaint!'.
But this is the first time I've given my place 'The Business' since I bought my lightglobe changing ladder and there are parts of the place that I didn't even know existed that are filthy.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
The ceilings are so high I need a ladder just to reach the lights and the people who lived here before me were in their 70s and not exactly suited to balancing on the tops of ladders and wiping door lintels. Or being able to see, bless their slightly blurry eyes.

My newly officially identified allergies have been going gang-busters but I'm consoling myself with the fact they'll be a lot happier once I'm finished and the place is actually dust-free.

I keep making little multi-pronged plans of attack.
All the high-up stuff first, then I can put the bloody ladder away and coax my calves back into talking to me again. Then the two carpeted rooms so I can vacuum and be done with it. Then I can cram everything from the lounge into those two rooms so I can scrub the kitchen and the bathroom and attack the damn wooden floors.

Those floors are the bane of my rental existence and a big part of why I don't mop very often.
They are sealed pine boards with a 5mm gap between each board that make sweeping inefficient and vacuuming time-consuming as you have to follow each line up and down the room whilst imitating an inverted L. The shellac, or whatever it is, is older than I am and flakes off if you scratch the floor even slightly and as the wood seems to have the consistency of a none-too-firm cheese which you could gouge a groove in with your fingernail if you tried.
This makes moving the furniture very bloody annoying so I tend to avoid doing it.

My flat is what I like to call 'venerable' so a big part of my relief at the end of this process will come from having managed to clean the place without making any bits of it fall off or disintegrate and knowing when to leave well enough alone.
As the previous part-time abode of several doted upon grandchildren it features several clusters of exciting texta marks low down on some walls and surprising patterns of brightly coloured nail polish blobs on different parts of the floor and a Peter Rabbit sticker next to the bath which I have been affectionately protecting.
I get the feeling if I tried to 'fix' any of these problems I would do more damage than I would good and would take away part of what I find so charming about the place which is that it is so very definitely lived in.
I've never been entirely comfortable with new houses as they feel sort of 'unfinished' or as if they have no personality whereas this slightly daggy, slightly banged up place is very definitely a home. Mine for now.

And after all this cleaning and moving and arranging I can collapse into an exhausted grubby heap in my nice clean flat, feeling smug and self-satisfied and at the same time quite quite glad that I won't have to do some of that stuff again for months - I'm not sure the old place could take it and frankly neither could I.
My finges are all pruney and scraped and my back and legs have taken out a restraining order against me.
But at least I've stopped sneezing long enough to type this now!