Worryingly Organised

ScroogeAt the moment, along with being quite chilled and content with things (as written about previously) I’m also feeling quite organised – far more so than is common at this time of the year.

With the exception of one present that hasn’t arrived (despite being ordered on the 3rd) it’s all been pretty easy this year. Of course, it helps that I don’t buy stuff for loads of people and all that, but even so it’s all come together and been organised way in advance. By mid-month I didn’t need to buy any more presents – things had suddenly come together for the two more-awkward-to-buy-for people through odd confluences of coincidence, none of which I was complaining about at all.

I’ve managed to avoid all the festive retail bullshit – some of which was due to being organised, some due to the absolute joy of online shopping and letting the stuff come to me – although I did have to make one collection from a local food store. (Mind you, even that was organised to happen between 7 and 8am, enabling me to go in, collect, pay, and piss off without the hysteria of other people’s panic-purchasing)  The rest of the supermarket food shop was done online and delivered painlessly – although working from home has helped on that score too, enabling me to be available when I’d usually be at work.

I’ve even got a number of things organised for next year – even down to having pre-booked the necessary parking requirements, as well as pet-sitter/feeder and the like.

It’s really quite worrying – things aren’t supposed to run this smoothly! But I’m going to appreciate it for the moment, and all well and good.

Quiet(er) Weekend

As I said earlier this week, the last month or so has been pretty manic and sociable, including lots of driving and the like. It’s been great, but it’s left me absolutely knackered this week. So the plan is/was to have a quiet one – or at least quieter.

Of course that still means that this weekend includes

  • Shopping in various places, including
    • Cat supplies for the next month
    • Minor domestic food shop
    • an early (and high-speed) visit into central Milton Keynes *shudder*
  • Getting the car’s tyres replaced/refitted
  • Sorting out domestic bits along the way, including
    • library book return/renewal
    • posting invoices, expenses claims etc.
    • Bloody bins
    • Collecting various parcels etc. from the local Post Office
  • Visiting the parents

So it’s not exactly been quiet – but at least it’s been on my terms, and I feel much better for having got a load of stuff done while also having down-time, and not covering more than a hundred miles or so.


Over the weekend, I finally got round to buying myself a new bedframe. It’s been a long time without one – basically, the one I had from previous house was too big to get up the staircase in the new place. (And by new I mean ‘the one I moved into in May 2012’)

It’s been an absolute ball-ache to find a decent bed that’s short/low enough to get up the staircase, which is one of the most awkward I’ve ever lived with – narrow, enclosed, jutty-out bits in the ceiling, steep, and with a 180° bend that needs to be negotiated with larger items. In short, it’s a bastard.  And shifting a mattress up there is an exercise in swearing and sheer physical labour.

Coupled to that, crappy finances meant that investing in a new bedframe was – well – not a priority.  But with new job, and all that, I thought I’d get round to doing something about it at last.

Anyway, having done some research, Ikea now do a low bed, so on Friday I went to the nearest one, and ordered it for delivery. (A downside of now having Saab instead of Mondeo – a bedframe and/or mattress won’t easily fit into a saloon car!)

Come Sunday, it finally got delivered at about 5pm. No timescales or delivery warning, just blew a Sunday waiting for it to arrive. Bastards.  But it’s all assembled (one bit being a pig, due to the necessary methods not being listed in the actual instructions – cheers for that, Ikea) so onwards and upwards in this great game of life.

Equipment Failure

Don’t worry, this isn’t another post about the joys and pitfalls of getting older…

No, instead it’s about technology, and why the bastard stuff all ends up failing at the same time.

First of all, this post is being written on a new laptop – which I really could’ve done without having to get, but needs must when the devil drives (and/or you’re a web techie and wannabe-writer).  The old Dell laptop – which it turns out I bought back in September 2009, so I shouldn’t whine so much, I guess – had been getting flakier over the last six months, but I’ve been eking out the life of it since then, suffering the occasional (and then more regular) hard-drive crash, and the ropy keyboard with some keys that only worked intermittently.

This week though it’s been crashing every time it was in use, and was obviously getting to the point where I needed to a) pull all the relevant data off it like NOW, and b) replace it with something else. And with a trip up to Manchester this week where I’m *really* going to need a reliable laptop, this was the weekend for it.

So I’ve bitten the bullet somewhat, and the new one is a (dirt-cheap) Asus thing, running the already-much-disliked Windows 8. To be fair to Windows 8, the old laptop was on the much-loathed Vista, which I never really found all that annoying. Eight annoys me more so far, but I’ll get used to it.

The other two equipment failures are both iPhone related, allbeit power-related rather than device-related. (Although I did think one of them might’ve been the phone being fucked, which was a real worry)  First the Mophie battery case has failed. Again. (More accurately, the cable/charger for it, which will no longer charge) I love the Mophie cases, but they do seem to be somewhat crap, and only last about a year. And then the normal iPhone charge/sync cable also went kerfut and wouldn’t charge the phone.  So I’ve had to get a new cable for that as well – considerably less expensive than the laptop purchase, but still, why all at the same time?

Oh yeah, and the fridge in the house also played up this week, with one day where it didn’t appear to be working all that well. Fortunately it’s now back up and running.

But why the hell would four things, two fairly major, all decide to kiff out within the same week? Weird things, I tell thee, weird things.

The Festering Season, 2012

For whatever reason, 2012’s Festering Season hasn’t really had as much of an impact on me as usual.

Maybe I’m mellowing. Maybe I’ve just given up on it as an unwinnable fight. I don’t know.

I still get annoyed by the bullshit commerciality of the entire enterprise – things like

  • seeing Christmas cards in the shops before Hallowe’en
  • Hearing Christmas Carols in November
  • Mince Pies with a ‘best before’ in November
  • All the insane consumer-driven shopfests in December – particularly in supermarkets

But for whatever reason, I can’t really find it in me at the moment to rant about it. Maybe I’m feeling pretty chilled at the moment, maybe it’s just (as I said before) because it’s pretty much an unwinnable fight. Maybe I’m just a bit tired of being ranty.

Whatever the reason, it just hasn’t annoyed me as much as usual.

Waiting / Wasting Time

One of my regular activities (and of course everyone else’s regular activities) is the domestic shop – it’s not something I enjoy too much, but it’s got to be done.  And at the same time I find it fascinating in some ways.

Mainly I love observing people, looking at their motivations, habits, and mindsets. I don’t always understand those mindsets and actions – as with the Reverse Parking thing I commented on a while back.

There’s going to be more of these posts, I think – it’s all making me think a lot about people, their psychology, the mindset for shopping and so on. It’s all just in my head a bit.

Anyway – back to the point of this one.  Still in the supermarket carpark, I’m afraid.

So here’s the thing – why do people feel the need to park as close as humanly possible to the actual store? Even to the extent of driving round the nearest loop three or four times, rather than finding a space somewhere else?   And particularly to the extent of sitting waiting for someone to load their shopping into the car, return the trolley, and then (eventually) drive off, leaving a queue of people behind, and generally screwing up the entire circuit ?

Me, I park further out, dump straight into a parking slot, and get on with the job. Last weekend I managed to do that, go in, shop, and come back out while at least one twat was still waiting for a parking spot on his circuit.

In short, I really don’t get the concept of ‘saving time’ by parking close to the store, if you have to circle repeatedly and wait for a spot.

Reverse Parking

When visiting the local supermarket – I’m not going to specify, because this set of thoughts are location-independent, having seen the same thing at at least six places – I’m always bemused by a certain parking style.

No, this isn’t YPLAC (You Park Like A Cunt) – for once – but it’s something just as bizarre. And I’m going to phrase it as a question

If they’re going to a supermarket, and doing their weekly/monthly big shop, why the FUCK do these people reverse into parking spaces ? I always see at least one per visit where they’re then faced with real issues when it comes to putting that shopping into the boot of the car.

I just don’t understand the logic – or maybe the lack thereof – that goes into this. I do get that some people don’t like reversing out of a space, although I’ve no idea why. Personally, I think reversing in to a space is far more prone to being visited by the Fuck-Up Fairy, but there we go.  Still, personal choice, and all that shite.

But for loading shopping into a car, it seems like it just makes things so much harder when you’ve reversed into the space, rather than going in forwards, and leaving the boot of the car out in the open, so you can just lift’n’load.

People are, to be sure, weird.