D4D

There's never a stungun around when you need one

Changed Volume

Ten days (or so) ago, I got some work done on the car.  It had been getting noisy – which I knew was the wheel-bearing starting to play up – but it turned out to also need new bushes, as the existing ones had split. (I’ve no idea – well, I kinda know, but whatever)

I got the work done, and since then the car has been a *lot* quieter. Surprisingly so, in fact.  Like many things, it’s obviously been ongoing (and getting louder) for a while, but because it’s just been gradual, I hadn’t really noticed.  (The wheel-bearing happened quite quickly and had more of an effect/impact)

But as a result, it’s also meant I’m driving faster, while my brain recalibrates a bit.

You see, a lot of the time I drive by the noise of the engine, rather than necessarily looking at the speedo all the time. I know what each speed “sounds like”, along with whether it’s level road, or up or down hill. I should point out that this isn’t something I’ve learned specifically, or been like ‘ah, so that’s what [x] up/down-hill sounds like’, but it is something I’ve noticed I do. (I also drive faster if I turn up the volume on the radio. It’s not a conscious thing, but it does happen)

So yes, this last week has been spent recalibrating my speed and volume settings. Which is kinda fun, and kinda geeky.

PIDU – Blockage

Another in my list of “People I Don’t Understand” pieces…

I do wonder sometimes about people, and what goes through their minds. On occasion, I’m pretty sure that the only thing that should be allowed through their thought processes is a sledgehammer.

One of those occasions – which comes up with depressing regularity – is what logical process leads people to block toilets with paper. It’s not ‘used’ paper (it’s always surprisingly white and mark-free) so it’s more that they’ve just decided to fill the bowl with paper. Why? I have no fucking idea.

There are some places that seem more prone to it than others. Most Wetherspoons pubs, in my experience. The majority of cinemas. But really, it seems like anywhere that’s got shared facilities (by which I mean where they’re publically accessible, rather than a private “it’s mine and mine alone” set-up) is fair game.

I’d love to see someone who’s just done it, stop them, and ask why, ask what went on in their braincell to think it would be a good/fun thing to do. However, weirdly you also never get to see someone doing it, you just always come in to the aftermath.

Saturday – Slow

While I was walking in London two weekends ago, I posted a ranty bith on Facebook, asking

HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE, WALK AND THINK SO FUCKING SLOWLY, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!?!?

To which Gordon asked how I live with being so irrationally angry to others.  The answer to that ended up as a bit of a rant, but was still absolutely true, and I thought I’d add it here as well, rather than losing it to the vagaries of Facebook.

That answer was this…

In fairness, my friend, if any of them had any awareness of what was around them, I’d be fine.

I fully acknowledge I walk a buttload faster than most people, and think/move/avoid at similar pace. I take on at least 90-95% of the responsibilities for getting out the way, and for understanding/accepting that difference.

All I ask – well, hope for – is for people to have the ability to see this fast-moving juggernaut of a human being, AND NOT WALK AT ME.

Fair enough, I’m enough of a fat bastard that I obviously create a gravity well and people just fall at me. I get that, I accept it. But they could make a bit of sodding effort.

It’s not even like I’m hard to see. But still these motherfuckers walk at me, stop in my path, decide to suddenly stop and take selfies (which is how I’ll end up on fucking Crimewatch, I just know it) or just look me dead in the eye, stop, and see what I’ll do, like they’re expecting me to slam into them.

So yeah, if there were even a smidge of acknowledgement, avoidance, observation, or even just a conscious fucking thought, I’d be fine.

But no. None of it. So you get the rants.

 

All told, it was a bit of a throwback to the D4D of old…

Moving Emails

Over the weekend, I ended up moving a lot of my email processing over to Amazon’s “Workmail” product. So far, it’s gone pretty well, but we’ll see what happens over time.

The email server/service I was using (via a company I do a lot of my hosting with) was generally OK, but had some significant issues which they didn’t appear to be able (or willing) to fix. The main one was that emails with attached files – particularly PDF and Word documents – would occasionally disappear. They wouldn’t bounce back to the sender, and they wouldn’t tell me (the recipient) that something had gone wrong, they’d just disappear with no notice to anyone.

Generally it’s been survivable, but last week there were things for HMRC and others that didn’t make it – things that were, safe to say, bloody important.

So I’ve moved the primary accounts over to Workmail, and it’s been quite smooth.  The setup didn’t take long, and while there were a couple of teething errors when it came to migrating the emails from Old to New, it all worked pretty nicely.  Once I knew what the hell I was doing (and/or looking for) it became even easier/better.

After that, the main ball-ache has been putting the new accounts onto all my devices, and getting everything to syncronise properly again. It’d be nice if you could just push the new account to your devices, but that’s a level of tech that’s above and beyond what we’ve currently got, sadly.

Still, it’s all worked, I’m fully moved over with all my key accounts, and it hasn’t made me want to throw computers through windows. Even that is pretty noteworthy, I think.

Saturday – Chris Ofili, Weaving Magic

Following on from seeing the Giacometti and Soul of A Nation exhibitions, my final visit was to the National Gallery, to see “Weaving Magic” by Chris Ofili.

A friend of mine had seen this and really liked it, hence why I wanted to see it.

It’s a fantastic tapestry – designed by Ofili, and then handwoven by Dovecot Tapestry Studio, and based on “I know why the caged bird sings“, by Maya Angelou. It’s also been staged and displayed really well, in a room of its own, which has also been decorated by Ofili.

So you end up with a room covered in murals like this

And then the tapestry itself, the only thing of colour in the room

It’s well worth seeing – if you get the chance to go before the end of August, I’d recommend it. Even better, it’s free to go in and see it, which is… noteworthy, in the current climate.

12 Years A Driver

Blimey, I’ve been driving now for 12 years today.  That really surprises me, how the time has flown.

I dread to imagine how many miles I’ve covered in that time – all I know is it’s well over quarter of a million miles. 120,000 in the Mondeo, another 120,000 in the Saab, and coming up to 20,000 in the Kia already.  Of course, that doesn’t include the ones I covered before buying the Mondeo, or any of the hire vehicles I’ve had in that time.

However you look at it, that’s pretty scary.

It’s hard to imagine life now without driving – if I were to lose my licence, it would change things radically, including having to change where I lived, where/how I worked, and many other things.  I value that freedom and licence more than I ever actually thought I would.

I’ve no idea what the future will bring, but I’m pretty sure that whatever comes along, I’ll be driving there.

Five Years A Bankrupt

It’s five years today since I declared myself bankrupt. As of today, I’m in the final year of it being on my record – and who knows what’ll happen from there.

It’s been a tough process, and it’s not one I’d recommend to anyone else – if nothing else, I’m pretty sure that most people going through it would also end up losing a lot more than I did – but for me, it’s worked out for the best.

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts along the way, and will end up writing another post for a year’s time, when it’s finally all done and dusted.

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