D4D

Hasta La Muerte, Motherfucker

Archive for the category “Cynicism”

Service Reward

As I said last week, the Slab passed its MOT with flying colours. So I decided to give it a treat – as well as the service it was due for, I sorted out a couple of things that’ve been annoying, and all is good.

Since I got it – and obviously before that too – one of the information displays has been pretty dodgy. It’s an old-type thing with a dot-matrix screen, and there were obviously some borked connections, so it never displayed the entire screen at all.  Depending on any number of random factors, it could be 75% working or 25%.  It didn’t affect the functionality of the car, but it got annoying on occasion.

Anyway, with having had to spend Not Much (actually, nigh-on Sod All) for the MOT, I asked about getting a replacement (or in this case, reconditioned) display module. I’d thought about it before, but didn’t bother at the time.

The service was done yesterday, along with the new display module, and replacement of various fluids that were OK-ish, but got flagged up as “could do with being replaced”. (Brake fluid and the like)

The display now is ace – indeed, it’s taking me some time to get used to it being as bright and clear as it is. The service had a couple of small bits that also needed doing, but it’s been worthwhile, and still Not Much for a car as comparatively old as the Slab.

Of course, with new bits and now it’s all sorted and taxed for the next year, something major is sure to go wrong with it in the coming month or so. That’s just the way these things go…

New Year, Same Shite

Well blimey, here we are in 2015. The thirteenth year for D4D™, which is quite a surprise.

There’s a lot of stuff going on, some new bits, new projects (and some continuations of existing projects) but there’ll also be a lot more of the same old shite here as well.

Happy New Year, and all that regular rot.

City Link

Sometimes it’s odd how things work out.  On Christmas Day, the courier group City Link announced they were going into administration. There’s still  lot of ongoing fallout, and unions wazzing on about how City Link are still a viable concern – because of course, who would know better than a fucking union?

Anyway, as I said, it’s odd how things work out.

A year or so ago, I interviewed with City Link to do a long-term contract in order to boost their website and on-line presence in a number of ways. It was a very cool job, and normally I’d have jumped at it. Indeed, I was offered it – but the downside was that it would’ve involved commuting round the worst section of the M25 on a daily basis – and that was what persuaded me to not take it.

Yes, sure, it would potentially have been a good year’s work and so on. But the revamped stuff hasn’t yet been released – and now looks like it never will be. So it would be pretty difficult, when now looking for something new on zero notice, to say “I did [x], but you can’t see it because they never released it”

All told, even with the way 2014 worked out on the shit-jobs front, I’m pretty glad I didn’t take on that one…

Writing Tools

Many many years back – before D4D even started – I used to have a couple of palmtop computers. I started off with the Atari Portfolio, then ended up with Psion devices, a 3a and then a Revo.  I used to love these things – they made things easy, and gave me a lot of time/ability for writing.  Of them all, the Revo was the best for also having a decent keyboard.

psion_revoThese things were tiny – far smaller than today’s tablet devices – but had enough power to do general organisational stuff, and plenty of writing along the way.

In 2015, I want to do more in the way of writing, and I’ve been looking for something similar to the Psions of old – the main requirements being small size, and a decent keyboard.  One thing I hate on tablets is the “on-screen keyboard”, which is nigh-on impossible to touch-type on. There’s no real feedback, and it’s hard to type clearly/cleanly/correctly on the poxy things. When one is wanting a device primarily for writing/typing, that’s hardly ideal.

There’s a couple of smaller tablets that also have decent keyboards – but then, if I’m looking at that I might as well get just a small/compact laptop. Mind you, a laptop (even a small one) is still larger than I was looking for.

Ideally I’d like something the size of the old Revo(ish) with a decent keyboard, and better connectivity. Doesn’t seem like much to ask for, does it? Particularly when you consider that such a device was in existence more than a decade ago. But it just doesn’t seem to available.  The best alternative seems to be something like the Typo2 keyboard for my phone – except that then negates the case/battery-pack I’ve already got, and also buggers up some of the other phone functionality. Which makes it a bit more pointless.

I feel the same about “smartwatches” like Apple’s iWatch and so on. Sure, there’s a lot of things that are cool on them, but when I think of what Casio used to do with digital watches back in the 90s – watches with calculators, databanks, thermometers, barometers, heart-rate monitors and so on – then the smartwatches are actually pretty dumb.

It’s just annoying – it seems that for all our technological advances, in some ways the devices we have now are less useful than those from a decade ago.

Solo – Dining

As I’ve said many times before, I’m pretty comfortable with being single, with living my own life, and not really needing any company for a lot of things. I’m happy going to concerts on my own, and to the cinema – indeed, doing most things like that. It suits me and the way I am.

However, there’s one thing I don’t like doing on my own – and get your minds out of the gutter, please! – which is going out for meals. I don’t know why it affects me more than other things – there’s not really any logical reason for it – but it does.

So, in 2015 I’m going to be addressing it a bit, and forcing myself to do it. There are places (both local and further away) that I really want to go to, and so this coming year that’s what I’m going to do. There’ll be a list of places I want to visit – which I may put on here, or may not – and we’ll see how I do.

And I’m starting the way I mean to go on. Earlier this month on Twitter I saw a New Years’ Eve menu that I *really* fancied at a place in Cambridge, and I’ve been wavering on it. But having decided to get my arse in gear with this, I got in touch and booked myself in – and I’m really looking forward to it.

It’s also the first time in *cough* years that I’ll have been out on New Years’ Eve – although it’s quite likely I’ll bugger off before midnight, because I’m still an antisocial bastard who doesn’t like people all that much…

 

Christmas Cheer

ScroogeAs always in the run-up to the Festering Season, the BBC is currently promoting the Eastenders Christmas Day special.

I don’t watch soaps, haven’t in years, and I really don’t get the appeal of them in general. But even in that sector, I truly don’t understand why so many people keep on watching Eastenders. It’s such an unremittingly depressing programme, one where nothing has a truly positive outcome. Even happy occasions – births, marriages etc. – have to have a downside, a negative touch. (Who’s the father? Who’s had an affair? What other explosion of emotion will happen?)

Christmas is, as always, the worst of all. There’s apparently going to be someone effectively going through the throes of a breakdown, so on Christmas Day there’ll be millions of people watching this whole thing of someone’s life collapsing around them.

Maybe it’s about making people feel better about their own lives – that no matter how bad they get, the people on Eastenders are suffering worse. I don’t know. But it’s a mindset that I simply can’t get my head around.

Decorative – the Exception

ScroogeOf course, following on from my post yesterday morning about Christmas house decorations being more tolerable this year, I came across this twinkling monstrosity during my evening walk in the village.

I’d take it all back, but actually this one – from what I’ve seen –  is more the exception than the rule this year…

Christmas House. *sob*

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