Archive for October, 2006

Extra, Extra! JTA finds time to do a proper post!

…Realises hasn’t much to Say!

Life here carries on as hectic as ever, I’m afraid. Well, not at the moment; I’m on Evening Duty in a Reading Room, which is quite fun, and rather Big School Library-ish, when there aren’t people wanting to come over and get their grubby fingers onto books they’ve pulled up from the Stack.

Fantastic weekend, for which belated cheers go out to Alec & Suz and Matt-in-the-Hatt and Sian – all enormously last minute and surprising, but I managed to catch some sleep up on the Sunday, so I’m glad I contrived to lever myself out of bed!

I’m still getting my head round the way this place works, but I think I’ve mostly got it sorted out, now; or, at least, I’m probably in a position to be able to work out a vague map, or something, which, as we all know, is Rule One (#5) of Exploration (Rule One #’s 1-4 covering things like ‘have someone who can detect traps,’ ‘if you’re stuck go back and look for hidden buttons,’ and ‘don’t step on the pressure plate without looking about a bit first’ [now I wanna play Eye of the Beholder again… Never did manage to get onto level 6, actually, had to keep bypassing it…])

A little alarmed at the fact I don’t seem to be getting very good at the commuting, yet, and I’m still knackered almost all the time. That’s a bit annoying.

More annoying is the way winter seems to be coming on, brining with it the usual aches and pains and trouble with my knees. As soon as I’ve got a minute I’m going to have to go and register with a doctor and demand they do something better than saying “have these Ibruprofen tablets” by way of fixing the problem – we’re talking little pink pills worth 400 Mgs a go, and I’m up to the point where if I only take one, it does pretty much nothing. If they were giving me morphine, I’d’ve been put into rehab by now…

Still, beyond that, all’s pretty much well, and I’ve not been completely swamped by anything yet. Give it time and I expect I will, but I’ll worry about that when it happens.

Have confirmed my time off for the Real Ale Ramble, at least (Thursday-Wednesday, to give time to get up to Aber beforehand, and to collapse in a heap afterwards), so that’s all fantastic, and means we can start things like “Booking the train tickets in advance,” in a bid to save a wee bit of cash, which is good, especially since I’m going to be getting a new monitor, presently (read: when I get paid), in order to use the computer which we’re planning to manhandle down here in the near future.

And that’s more-or-less that, I reckon. Another update in another week, like as not.

Have fun!

This is a new one…

Fascinating bit of spam today, which I’ve never seen before:

hi Luisa i hope this is your mailbox.
I was pleased to meet you the other day. I hope you are truly had like the New York.
So much so much happening all the time, lots of great opportunities.
And speaking of opportunities, the deal I was speaking you about yesterday embraces a company
named Tex-Homa (TXHE).
It’s already heading up, but the big announcement isn’t even
out yet, so there’s still time. I have got this shares already and made
2000. I propose you to do the same today.

Hope this helps you out. I’ll see you this weekend.
Yours Luisa Gibbs

Now isn’t that wierd? I’m assuming it’s spam, because, well if this were real insider dealing, you, uh, wouldn’t go sending information out to e-mail addresses if you weren’t damn sure who owned ’em, and even then you wouldn’t be quite as explicit as to say “but the big annoucement isn’t out yet, so I’m breaking the law by telling you to buy these shares in this company [insert helpful stock exchange code here],” unless you were keen to avoid all your friends and relations for the next ten years but it’s still a new one on me.

Anyone seen it’s ilk before? ‘s sneaky, and only fatally flawed if you’re not especially interested and don’t read it properly – I did think it was just a case of the wrong address, until the bit about the shares came up.

Proper blog post soon, when I’m on break, or otherwise not getting paid.

Have fun!

The End of Week Two…

…I’m using a bit of flexitime to write this, but that’s fair enough – I’m not exactly short on flexitime (although I will be presently), so much as short on energy with which to do anything about having stray flexitime that I could do stuff with. Still, I hope I’ll get used to it.

Rather alarming is the extent to which I’ve got old over the last six years; back in the day, when I got the stinking 83 to Newport (via anywhere remotely indirect that Arriva could think of, including a huge doubling-back-on-itself loop to the Humbers, where approximately one lazy kid got on or off) I used to be up at 0630h, and back at 1750h, no problem. Now I keep falling asleep on the bus (although I reckon that the instance of that on Tuesday was because I’d got the Today program on the iriver, and Call-me-Dave was talking about, uh, something).

Getting a bit more settled in, now, not making quite as many mistakes as I was last week, which is a good sign, and probably less irritating all round, and I’m starting to learn my way round the stack a bit better (I did get totally lost in there the other day, whilst trying to find a floor that would let me exit to the main part of the building, but since the stack’s the sort of thing that’d give Umberto Eco a headache, I reckon I can be forgiven that. Anyway, I wasn’t lost as such, because I knew how to get out, just not how to get out where I wanted to do so.)

Getting the bus has settled into a proper routine again, after some disturbance the other last few days, following the village the bus goes through becoming a wee bit soggy after the huge rains we’ve been having. It’s sunny again, now, which is a shame, because it doesn’t annoy the tourists as much, but I guess we’ll have to cope.

In other news, I’ve been given a part in the Corn Exchange pantomime, an Archers-tastic ‘Snow White & the Seven Dwarves,’ playing the part of Slurp (who I always think is called Slurm, on account of that being, well, a name). Slurp is basically the character of the huntsman, but pantomimed into a comedy pillock, of the “stupid but a cretin” variety. One annoying voice and ‘Uriah Heep meets the village idiot’ level performace later, and I’ve got myself a part. Which is cool, because I’ve never really auditioned for owt before.

Went bellringing again, last night, and more or less enjoyed it; was on a heavier bell than previously, which made things a lot easier, but I do seem to have stretched the muscles in my chest a bit, on account of stretching up with the sally. Still, it’s a hobby, and could be losely counted as excercise, if you were being generous, so I reckon I’ll carry on with that.

And other than that – and the audition doesn’t really count, since it was two weeks ago on Sunday, and before I started work – I’ve not done much, mostly because it’s all far too tiring. Soon, however, I’m hoping I shall get the hang of this a bit better, and stop feeling quite so abysmal in the mornings, and then I can do something productive, and which doesn’t involve learning difficult things, like AACR2 and MARC, which I’m only slowly getting the hang of, and which I keep having dreams about.

No, really. The last two nights, I’ve dreamed about cataloguing books. This is slightly scary, especially since the dream this morning was me stuck at a party with a bunch of people telling me how they deliberately list things as bibliographies in the 008, even when they know they’re not, and me having to be polite about it, because I didn’t know the way home, and they were going to give me a lift.

Still, that’s probably a good sign, too, because it means my brain is quietly filing things away, rather than just forgetting them, so I reckon thing’s will get better. I feel marginally less confused and useless already, and I still intend to enjoy this once I’ve got the hang of it a bit better, so it’s all good, really, apart from the sleeping, and it’s nearly the weekend, which is proper lie-in city!

Excellent.

Hum

I’ve not actually been given owt to do yet (and, being still in Training, I’ve not got clearance to start playing about and seeing how I can do on my own) so I reckon it’s probably OK for me to make a quick post whilst I wait for further instructions…

¬†…I’ve got a dual¬†processor terminal. No, really. OK, so they’re both Intel (“They’re both shit, you say?” “Aye, that’s right…”) but since I’ve not built it I’m not going to fuss too much.

So yeah, two Pentium [ugh] 4’s, at around 3.20 Ghz a throw…

…I’m beginning to wonder if there’s something about this job they’ve not told me; I’m sure I can’t need to devote a full processor over to the data entry program.

I’m now torn between going “Wow! Two processors, what do I need those for?” and “Eew, double Intel…” But then, I do lots of gaming on my computers, and you really need an AMD if you’re after much more than, well, er, using Microsoft Office.

Got a cool wallpaper, too; it’s this shot of the war memorial I took a couple of years back.

Commuting remains exhausting, but I just went into the break room and had a hugely strong coffee before I came and signed in to work, so I’m feeling more perky, at least.

I still reckon this’ll be easier once I’m done with the training and don’t come in and sit about looking for something to do, as I am now, but that’s probably just me, and I reckon I’ll be missing these days of gentle “waiting for something to turn up” in a couple of months.

TinyIRC got blocked by the Windows pseudo-firewall, so I’m guessing that’s out, which is fair enough, although it does rank as “another thing I don’t need a seperate processor for” (but I’ve never been a dual-core fan anyway, so that’s predictable).

E-mail still can’t work. Anyone ever use Simeon (it’s be a long time ago; it talks about itself as providing ‘Electronic mail’ in order to ‘replace paper memos in offices with electronic versions which are more economical,’ and I can’t get it to work at all. I need it to work so I can ask someone in the local equivilent of IS is I can have Firefox, please, not IE.

Hey ho. Back to locating someone who can find me a grindstone to practise putting my nose to, I guess…

Have fun!

Oook…

Well now… I’m tired.

Given that I’ve spent two days getting up at 0630 to catch a bus, after a muchly welcome five-year break from the same, I reckon that’s allowed.

Have signed me contract, and sent it off; am anticipating some species of Staff Badge presently, which, combined with my Magic Key Fob ™ ought to give me access to most of the interesting places. Except for the Uber-Secure bit of the stack with all the cool valuable stuff in, which makes sense. I’d not trust me in there if I’d only just turned up, either.

Today I have been given a locker, so I’m taking a huge jar of coffee (instant, mind you, not too good) and me Wikipedia mug in, and I plan to start ingesting that at something like a rate of knots, although not when I’m in the cataloguing room, because you’re no allowed book-shafting things in there, which makes sense.

Have had a tour of the Stacks, still can’t really find my way round anywhere. Keep being told by people who’ve worked there for years that this is entirely to be expected, which is both re-assuring (I’ve not lost my sense of direction) and alarming (I’m never going to be able to get out if I take a wrong turning). Still, I can always follow the hugely cool self-unloading-at-the-right-floor conveying machine, if I can make it down that far.

I have a computer, it has a TFT monitor. It also has a really annoying keyboard, with a diamond on the control key, and matching diamonds and things like “cut,” “paste,” “underline,” etc. on x, v & u respectively. Most irritatingly it has “< " and ">” on the “Home” and “End” keys, which works fine if you’re word processing and is completely wrong if you’re viewing a webpage.

Since that’s the only major quibble I can find thus far – and I have, naturally, been looking for such sticking points – I reckon I’m probably going to be alright, just as soon as I can learn things like what an 020 field does, and if my compter’s ever going to tell me something is pattern analysis blue…

Now I’m going to raid the Abnib Gallery for wallpaper and go to bed.

G’ night.