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charlie, computer cat

July 2015




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Jul. 27th, 2015


Canada update

Hello world! Well, it's about one third of the way through our trip to Canada and we have finally found a hotel that gives decent wifi access! Both the past two places kept dropping my connection every 2 minutes or so - not ideal for browsing the modern web, as I'm sure you can imagine :) Still, we have been having a great time so far, only slightly hampered by some less than spectacular weather. We managed a couple of lovely days in Banff, during which I climbed an actual mountain! Check out the view from the top!

Unfortunately, this wasn't the Burgess Shale mountain, and we decided that the lack of ability to maintain our own pace meant that wasn't going to work that well for me so we went on the shorter GeoScience walk experience where we got to open up some shale and find actual trilobytes! Yes, I have found my very own trilobyte, which is pretty awesome. After Banff, we went on to Golden, on the Kicking Horse River, which was really nice, and we went to see the wolf sanctuary and the grizzly bear sanctuary! We've also seen elk grazing on the highway and three deer, one while walking and two while on the road, so the wildlife spotting is going pretty well so far. We had been planning to stop next in Kamloops, but the nice waitress we were chatting to in Golden suggested that we might enjoy wine country and so we have diverted down to Kelowna, where we have unfortunately brought the rain with us, but have managed to find a nice place to stay with the aformentioned quality wifi :)

By the way, I can't tell if these images are only showing up in preview because I'm logged into google, so if you can't see them, comment and tell me!

Jul. 19th, 2015



I find it kind of hard to believe, even now, but we have actually made it and I am actually on holiday at last. I was so excited that I was bouncy and enthusiastic at the man at the security check point :) The flight was only averagely horrible - a bit of a bumpy landing and my entertainment system didn't really work, but otherwise pretty smooth so I didn't feel too rubbish and we got a pair of seats on their own so we didn't have to keep getting up past people and stuff. and could be comfortably huggy. Once I got the mirrors adjusted right, the car we hired is pretty easy to drive, and has loads and loads of luggage space and the gps we bought successfully directed us to elyssa and stevieg's house, which is huge! You could fit about 3 of our house in it! It is also lovely, with nice squishy sofas, kitchen well equiped with tea and ornamental minous all over the place, which is really good for helping you feel right at home! This place is so big that there is basically a kitty play room!

We are planning to go on an expedition today to do some scrambling around and then some hanging out by the community lake (!) before dinner so hopefully, pics to follow :)

Jun. 14th, 2015


Orphan Black spoilers

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May. 28th, 2015

charlie, computer cat

(no subject)

Suppose you are a law enforcement officer checking that the law stipulating that alcohol only be served to under over 18s is being followed. You enter a pub and observe the following people:

1) A person of unknown age drinking a beer
2) A person clearly in their 40s drinking a clear liquid
3) A person clearly under 18 drinking a clear liquid
4) A person of unknown age drinking tea

Assuming that where I have said something is known, you don't need to check it (e.g. the beer is really beer and the tea is really tea), which people must you check to make sure the law is being obeyed?

Apr. 12th, 2015

webdesigner - chez geek

(no subject)

Well, the new walking is still a thing and, characteristically, I've bought equipment to go with it - a nice pair of walking shoes and an attempt at a pair of trousers. Years ago, I had an amazing pair of trousers with two zip off sections so you could wear them as trousers, cut-offs or shorts. They wore out many years ago, but now I'm looking to replace them, I'm faced with the fact that I've put on weight since then and fat girls are not expected to buy clothing for being outside in. I haven't found *anything* for girls above a size 18 and even stuff for guys is not available in my waist size. It's irritating; while I'd like to be fitter, I don't want to lose weight per se, and the suggestion that I have to in order to enjoy the activities of the outdoor fraternity basically puts me off. It doesn't help that the nurse who represcribed my birth control pills (on an emergency appt when I had mis-remembered how many packs I had left, don't get me wrong, she was doing me a favour) spent 15 mins telling me about how they can prescribe me weightwatchers classes if I like. I just said "Hmmm" a lot.

In other news, the combination of the elections and the sad puppies thing has got me thinking about community. What communities am I a part of and what does that even mean? I feel totally unrepresented by the parties on offer for voting for at the election, to the extent that I find it hard to justify to myself the idea of endorsing any of them. The things that matter to me, like privacy and democratic legitimacy don't seem to resonate anywhere with party platforms. This political cycle, I've ended up resigning my party membership and donating to FullFact and Org instead because they represent more of what I actually want to se in politics - information. I can't see myself in good concience voting for any of these fuckers.

Sad-puppies wise, I have been thinking about adjacent spaces. The sad puppies thing seems to represent an assault by people who I do not like on a space in which people with whom I am friends have previously felt safe and comfortable. But it's not my space and never has been - con fandom is just not how I've ever related to my reading or experience as an SF fan and I'm certainly not up to date enough as a reader to vote for any literary award in the field. The question for me is does the fact that this is not my space mean that it's not my fight? On the one hand, if I've nothing to defend, why get involved? On the other, there's a certain "and then the came for the X" about it - the fact that I don't need the space doesn't mean I should stand by and let assholes run over it, does it? In the end, I don't think I'm prepared to enter the space in order to protect it for others but is there any other viable support I can offer? Perhaps I should by Worldcon memberships for people who do care but can't afford to.

So what does it mean to belong to a community? If asked, I would say I was British but actually, I don't identify in practice with any elements of Britishness any more than I do con-going-fandom. For me, I guess living in a place and being a member of a community perhaps mean different things. I'm not even sure if that's a problem or not, but it is an interesting thought, at least.

Mar. 27th, 2015

charlie, computer cat

(no subject)

Have had a very up and down week this week for some reason - easily discombobulated by little things at school and so on. Thank goodness for the Easter holidays, although I will be spending most of the first week at school anyway, either teaching booster classes for SATs or sorting out our new ICT suite.

I have discovered the fact that you can go on guided hikes of the Burgess Shale and really want to do one while we're in Canada so we've started going on weekend walks this month - well, we've managed two so far, anyway :) It's been rather nice so far, but my hiking boots just aren't really comfortable so I'm trying out some less heavy duty footware, in the hope that I can find something that's rather more natural feeling. We are going to need to find some hills to practice on though, given the elevation of the hike I'd like to do! At the moment, what we find is that I can walk quite comfortably without getting out of breath for about 3 miles on the flat but as soon as you add height gain, I start to get puffed in my breathing, which then goes away again as soon as you get back on the flat. Alex suggested it might be something in my stance, so that'll give me some more googling to do! Still, if I can repeat the hill part of todays walk about 11 times, that would be about equivalent, and that doesn't sound crazy. We'll have to see how things go.

Mar. 14th, 2015


(no subject)

Dear Canadians,

Does anyone have any recommendataions for carriers providing local PAYG sim cards with data? Or just in general for carriers with good coverage in the BC/Alberta area? Holiday planning is afoot!

Feb. 27th, 2015


(no subject)

After a string of weeks at the end of last term where I got very little done on my long weekends because of feeling full of cold and generally run down, I am actually having a rather productive day for a change. I am particularly pleased that I have managed to do quite a bit of gardening - it's just tidying up but it badly needs to be done. It was really nice to be out there seeing the bulbs starting to come up and the trees beginning to bud. There's lots that needs doing to make the garden presentable but the fact that I felt motivated to get out there today in the sunshine and do it made me feel quite optimistic about the whole thing. Of course, I do still have the sniffles, but you can't have everything!

I had a lovely birthday a week ago, with a visit to the family, but it did remind me that as I get older, I seem to drift further and further away from the institution of gift giving. There is so little that I want to have that I don't just buy when I want it now that I find it very hard to think of things to go on my wish list these days and I'd much rather see people than have more things. That being said, I did get some lovely clothes from my Mum, which was nice. I must go clothes shopping again at some point - I have lots of sensible work basics but not really any nicer, dressy, going out style stuff any more. Although that might entail going to the city centre, which I really don't like! I know - my life, so hard!

Jan. 30th, 2015

charlie, computer cat

(no subject)

I feel like I've spend most of January feeling ill, even though really it was only a week. I guess because it started on one Friday off and then finished up on a second, I notice it more because it stole my days off! Still, it is nice to be feeling a bit better this week. Luckily, assessment week at school gave me a chance to sort of catch up with myself, although I suspect that there's unmarked work in the maths books done while I was off sick that I haven't looked at yet. Still, the assessments were very reassuring for a change so that's nice. This term seems to be going slower than it should though - still two weeks until half term.

It's been so horrible weather wise and I've been so full of cold the last two weekends that I still haven't really got the garden under control. I think I'm going to try to do a couple of 15 minute bursts today, avoid getting too cold but at least it's dry.

We've already booked our summer holiday for this year (we're heading back to Canada) and it should be a really great trip - three whole weeks of mountains, friends and Canadian good cheer! The only downside is that because I'm already looking forward to it, it feels ages away! Still, it can only get closer, I suppose.

Jan. 4th, 2015

webdesigner - chez geek

Amazon Instant Video

Well, I feel that I have finally triumphed over the idiocy of Amazon over the last couple of days, which is nice. I am hesitant to post this here because of the ridiculous behaviour of Amazon in trying to push Kindle Fire/Fire TV, but I can't really see how they can stop this, so I'm going to post it anyway.

How to watch Amazon Instant Video/Amazon Prime Video on your tablet.
Install Flashfox. I used the Pro version because I was so pleased this worked but you don't need to, the free one works fine. Tick the "request desktop site" box then visit the Amazon website and browse to your videos - voila, you can play your videos on your tablet.

How to watch Amazon Instant Video/Amazon Prime Video on your Chromecast from your phone or tablet.
Somewhat to my surprise, there is a very simple way to do this - I've been googling it frequently but somehow this has never come up so I figure I'll put it out there. If you go in to the Chromecast app on your device, there is an option to cast screen. On my phone it warns you it's not designed for this screensize but just ignore this. On my phone I can then watch via the Instant Video app or Flashfox and the picture and sound are chromecast to my TV with very good quality. I noticed a couple of stutters which I think was from the Amazon app rather than the chromecasting.

So, having finally managed to get to watch my programmes the way I want again, the next season of Lewis is apparently not available on Prime or elsewhere. I don't really want to buy the DVDs so I guess I'll just bittorrent it and wait for an electronic version to become available. Sigh. It really shouldn't be this hard to pay for what I want to watch. Still, definite progress

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