Thursday, November 15, 2007

fleeting thoughts

Why d'you suppose our spam filter blocked a plain text email from me to a friend of mine asking how her mother was, yet this morning there was an html message with the words "puffy penis" in the title waiting for me from someone called... actually I can't remember 'cos I deleted it without paying too much attention.

And another thing; our firewall seems to have a mind of its own. Yesterday I couldn't leave comments on blogs but today I can. Yes I know I said I won't be blogging from work anymore but what can I say? I have no self-control.

It was raining this morning when I was riding to work. Traffic wasn't great and visibility was poor since daylight had only just begun to think about putting in an appearance. In these conditions I take it slow because even with my high-viz vest I know that drivers are less likely to see a girl on a motorcycle than they otherwise might be.
Two things happened.
One, I almost missed my turnoff. For the first time since I started riding the bike (about 9 months ago) my subconscious took over driving for a while. There is a stretch of around 2.5km of motorway that I do not remember riding this morning. My mind was on something else completely. They say that's a good thing, because apparently your subconscious drives better than your conscious but I found it a little scary.

The second thing was completely unrelated. On a bike, you're much more in touch with your surroundings; you feel the cold (or warmth, as the case may be, though not in Dublin very often) and you smell the scents of your surroundings. For me, it is always the smells that do it and this morning I was suddenly transported back to Jeffreys Bay in the summertime, in the rain because although it was freezing outside (unlike J-Bay in the summertime!) there was something about the smell, like salty sea air (again, very unusual in Dublin) mixed with the smell of rain and I could smell the vegetation on the sand dunes and hear the endless swooshing of the waves on the sand, and I was filled with young love and enthusiasm and life. Our summer holidays in Jeffreys Bay when I was a teenager were some of the happiest times of my life. Sun, fun and summer romances, bonfires on the beach at night with friends I thought would be there forever.
The sensation lasted about 30 seconds and then I was belched on by a bus.
Sure, we grab the moments when we can.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

At the risk of repeating myself...

Do you want to know what really annoys me? Well I'm going to tell you anyway.
I am sick to death of people sending me guilt emails. You know the ones: the hard luck stories, designed to bring a tear to your eye and make you feel guilty about every good thing that's ever happened to you and every cent you ever earned. I'm not sure what their purpose is.
Some will tell you the email is being tracked so you must send it to everyone you know.


The only thing you're doing is clogging up my mailbox with yet more crap.
Those that don't, well, I truly don't see their purpose. Trying to spread goodwill? It's not working. I just get pissed off because I feel like someone is trying to guilt me into giving to charity, or going to Church more often, or for feeling down when "there are people so much worse off than me".
I am perfectly entitled to feel depressed for my very own reasons, even if I don't have a third eye or a dying budgie.

You know what else? I don't want to hear about little Mary and her leg that fell off. It doesn't bring a tear to my eye - it brings a curse to my lips for wasting my time! Why must I feel guilty about fictitious peoples' hard luck stories... because no matter how many times they tell you "This is a true story!!!" ... chances are it's bullshit. Someone made it up. I have yet to figure out why but there you go.

What, you don't believe me? Here's a challenge:
For the next ten emails of hard luck emails, go check it out. It's fairly simple: just ask Google. The quickest way is to put a line from the email in quotes in the search box, and add the word "hoax" at the end.

Spread the word folks - but not by email, for goodness' sake; chances are some eejit would add a curse to the end of it, like "Send this to everyone in your address book in the next 30 seconds or the Terrible Terri is going to plant a virus in your RAM!".
And then I would have perpetuated yet another useless chain-mail.
Now THAT would make me feel guilty!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

technological advancements

I've had some technological woes just lately. I think it probably started when our TV died but that actually turned out to be a good thing as we're now the proud owners of a fancy-schmancy flat-screen LCD TV instead.

And then there was my new laptop. I wanted to love it, I really did. It's all sleek and shiny, and really quiet - you hardly hear it running at all. And it's fast, too. I no longer have time to boil the kettle and make coffee decaf while it boots up, and my email opens in a flash.
I've had intermittent problems, mostly surrounding the wireless broadband / internet. I noticed that sometimes the internet was really slow - I was genuinely surprised that I actually got my photos of our trip to SA uploaded to Flickr the other night. I almost just gave up.

The night before that I was ready to throw the "bloody new-fangled thing with all it's fancy new bits and pieces" out the window because the wireless broadband just would. not. work. And it wasn't the router, because young Cinderella had no problems with her connection... using the wireless card from MY old laptop (how annoyed was I?!). I even uninstalled Norton Internet Suite because I thought it might have had something to do with the auto-update it had run the night before, but no, it was just not working. The fact that the LAN connection worked fine should've given me a hint but by that stage I was too far gone to think straight.

But then on Thursday night I switched the offending machine back on and started from scratch and chose to follow my favourite motto:


And when I found the e-manual and browsed to the "Wireless Networking" section, the first thing I saw was a diagram. Item 5 was labelled "Wireless Networking on/off switch".
D'OH! I must have unknowingly flipped it to Off when I was putting the machine in it's bag... a quick flip of the little sliding button about 2mm to the right and hey, presto! My wireless net began working again.

Terri - 1
Technology Gremlins - Zero!

So that was one problem solved.
Today I decided it was time to look at this intermittent performance issue. I reinstalled the Norton software because honestly it didn't make a noticeable difference and I don't want the cyber-aliens abducting my data and performing nasty experiments on it when I'm not looking.

I searched all the settings I could find in both Firefox and the Norton stuff. I downloaded IE7 and checked all those settings too. Luckily it made no difference whether I used Firefox or IE - they were both dog-slow. I couldn't even open my own blog - how bad is that??!
And then something went PING! in my head[2] and I went back to the wireless network settings that I had spent so much time looking at during the week. Sure enough, there it was - one little slider that I moved from "min" to "max"... the one that controls throughput vs saving battery life. Screw the battery - gimme Megs!!!
So this message may pop up a little (?!) sooner than it did before. I can live with that.

Terri - 2
Technology Gremlins - still Zero!

You may applaud :-)


[1] Yes, that really IS my motto. I hate reading instructions - I'm a true Techie at heart.

[2] Not literally, of course.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

disjointed thoughts

You'd have been forgiven for thinking world war 3 had broken out last night with the amount of fireworks and bonfires and screeching that filled the air. The screeching, of course, was entirely that of young children dressed up as ghouls and fairies, madly excited about trick-or-treating for Halloween. Hubby was almost as excited, happily handing out sweeties to the youngsters (already on a sugar rush - pity the poor parents!).
Thank heavens it's over now.

I'm multi-tasking in a big way at the moment - hastily typing up a long overdue blog post, trying to upload pictures to Flickr (if the website ever decides to load) and going through a list of stuff on Facebook as long as my arm. (Why, oh why, did I ever sign up for the thing??! Me being the conscientious person that I am, no matter how many times I tell myself to just not log in again I just can't help myself. Pfft!)
And at the same time as all of that I'm trying to cook dinner.
Talk about spreading myself too thin...!

In other news, the new laptop is doing well - most of the time. The display is great for photos and it boots up really fast (certainly compared to my old 733mhz no-name-brand!) but for some reason the internet is really slow sometimes. And that REALLY annoys me. I'm inclined to blame the Norton internet suite, which I didn't use previously, but I just can't be sure... it's a Techie's worst nightmare and you know how notoriously bad techies are at fixing their own stuff.

I'm battling to keep up the blog. I seem to have lost the urge to write. Or take photos. The ones I want to upload to Flickr tonight (if the internet decides to play with) are those I took in South Africa in July!!! "Better late than never" seems to be becoming a theme in my life.
I seem to have lost the urge to do a lot of things. But I still enjoy riding my bike - I reckon the trips to and from work are the highlight in my life at the moment.

So anyway, if it means anything I do think of you guys. If Big Brother wasn't watching my every move at work I'm sure I'd be doing a better job of keeping in touch. Yah, I know, excuses excuses and all that.
I do miss you all though. And I'm sure I'll be back on form again at some point so don't give up on me, OK?