gamiila: (sexy)
Today's photo is one of myself, as having spent most of the day indoors composing an application letter to Dell, I didn't really have a chance to look for a more suitable subject for picture-taking. If you look carefully (click the picture for a bigger image), you'll see that I'm wearing glasses -- the ones I won in that Facebook comp last month, as I still haven't received the call that my replacement contact lens has arrived at the optician's. They're alright, if a little uncomfortable, pinching the bridge of my nose. Also, I think my ears aren't properly aligned...

moi )

According to my phone's manual, it should enable me to take self-portraits with it easily. However, even when I follow the instructions to the letter, it doesn't seem to want to work. In the end, I was reduced to taking a quick pic of my reflection in an in-store mirror.
gamiila: (technical issues)
On the advice of some of my friends, I'd been using an external keyboard since having broken several keycaps on my laptop. Although it did the trick, it wasn't an ideal situation, and I was seriously contemplating sending the laptop off for repair when, in my search for a reputable repair service online, the notion to make it a DIY-job took hold of me. After all, why pay p&p, insurance, material and labour costs and be without my laptop for a minimum of 3, possibly 4 days when one can just have the part sent and be done in 5 minutes? I mean, it was just a keyboard replacement job; how hard could it be?

So I sent off an e-mail to this computer repair webshop, asking exactly that question. And received a reply saying, basically, a child could do it. Take a small blade, feel along the top of the keyboard for the clips holding it in place, wriggle it loose, carefully take it out, and then slot in the new keyboard. Easy peasy. I didn't need to be told twice. I ordered the keyboard, and it arrived yesterday. This morning, I replaced it. It was almost exactly as the technician had said in his e-mail, only he'd forgotten to mention what to do with the cable belt; but there was really only one option if you thought about it you can judge from the fact that I can still post a message to LJ, the operation was a complete success! I am now officially a keyboard repairing genius!

I also received the news yesterday that they will be delivering the chair I bought 10 weeks ago some time between 3 and 5pm today. I do hope they'll stick to that exact time frame as I will need to be in Utrecht by 7pm.

Last night, my niece and I went to the cinema to see Puss in Boots. Pure escapism, but a jolly good film to end the cinematic year with.

Also, I've left it a bit late and with money being kind of tight at the moment, I'm half decided not to send any Christmas cards this year. Please don't think badly of me -- I may not send seasonal greetings, but I will be thinking of each and every one of you and wishing you the very best in 2012!
gamiila: (peek-a-boo)
I interviewed for a position as Quality Coordinator a month ago. Two weeks ago, they let me know that I was the only candidate remaining, but that they wanted to readvertise for it. Then on Thursday evening, I got the call that they would like to see me again...yet now, I'm not sure that the job's for me. I knew they'd since rewritten the job description, and asked for a copy to be sent to me -- and the role and responsibilities have been much added to. I'd have to be WonderWoman in order to fulfill their expectations now!

Meanwhile, the job hunt is not going well on other fronts. There are loads of job postings around, but hardly any at my level; and my phone remains stubbornly silent. None of the recruitment agencies I'm registered with have got back to me yet, and I'm rapidly losing heart. And then, I went and added to my misery by breaking my laptop keyboard, when I took my frustrations out on it and the keycaps started flying around my ears.

So, I'm in need of cheering up, and maybe this meme that I've stolen from [ profile] chickenfeet2003 will do just that. We last played this game on the 28th of September, 2008, so please will you indulge me?


1. Open up your music player. Hit shuffle.
2. Record the first few words of the first 20 songs that come up that do not give away the name of the song. Skip instrumentals, but don't skip the embarrassing ones.
3. Make hapless LJ denizens guess the song names and artists. Google is cheating.
4. Least hapless LJ denizen wins admiration.

Read more... )
gamiila: (always ends in tears)
This may be my last chance to get on the Internet for some time...After my cable company informed me they would be going digital from the middle of June, and as a result none of my current analog TV stations would be available without getting a digital receiver, I decided to integrate my systems and obtain my phone/cable/Internet-connections all through the same provider (as opposed to the three different providers I have currently). An engineer has just arrived and started work on the TV-side of things. When I sneaked a peek a moment ago, the screen read "Installation failure" in a bright orange box, so I'm not too confident that all will be well.

Oops! Now he's asking where my computer is...

gamiila: (technical issues)
What's the best way to go forward if you can't remember what password you used to protect your wi-fi connection at home?

Last night, I found an urgent message from my boss in my inbox, saying the file that I'd been working on all day Thursday and that he needed done by the end of it wasn't in the attachment to the e-mail I'd sent him saying "Ta-daaaa!", and could I try sending it him from home?

Which is when I found out I couldn't as I can't remember what password I used when I set up my wi-fi 16 months ago. I've had to go to Burger King and make use of their free wi-fi there. But what if my laptop gives up the ghost and I need to hook another one up to my own wi-fi at home?
gamiila: (technical issues)
My modem died just before the weekend. I've had to wait five days for its replacement to come through the post, and although they'd promised me a morning delivery, it only got dropped off half an hour ago. Yay! I'm back online, which is all I've cared about for the last few days - I've lost the knack for keeping myself entertained without access to the 'Net, I'm afraid.

The new central heating system is working perfectly and noiselessly, and is doing a wonderful job at maintaining a nice even temperature of 20 degrees Centigrade throughout my property -- but my enjoyment of it is marred by the fact that Willem and his crew absconded without fixing the hole they created in my kitchen ceiling. It's not a massive problem, and I'm sure I could take care of it myself, but I would have been happier if they'd done the repairs, seeing as it was them that have knocked the hole there in the first place.

Now it's time to catch up with the meme I started at the beginning of this month, and the prompt for Day 19 is to hold forth on the subject of disrespecting your parents. This is a subject I have little or no personal experience with. I'm not even sure what is meant by it. There have been times when my parents and I have not got along, but I've always respected them as people, and respected their opinions even if I didn't agree with them.

Day 20 asks how important you think education is, and my answer is: very. In this day and age, and in our society, you can't get by, and you certainly can't get ahead, without it.

Day 21 wants to know about one of your favourite shows. I've been watching the BBC1 soap EastEnders for over 20 years, and I still enjoy watching it and following the characters storylines, even if they are a bit silly sometimes.

The subject under discussion on Day 22, according to the meme, is 'how have you changed in the past 2 years?' And I don't think I have, not really. My circumstances have changed, but apart from having grown a little older and maybe a little sadder, I'm basically pretty much the same.

And so we come to Day 23: Give pictures of 5 guys who are famous and who you find attractive. This I'm not going to do, because I really don't know how, or who, to choose. A long time ago, when I was a young whippersnapper, I decided that David Bowie was not just a very talented musician, but also a very beautiful man. He was in his Thin White Duke-phase then; and time, I think, has been extremely kind to him - he may be in his 60s now, but I think he's still exquisite.

Gary Oldman is my favourite actor, because of his ability to merge with and become his character, and as such, I find him attractive. Professor Brian Cox is very good at explaining the wonders of the solar system and the workings of the Large Hadron Collider in such a way that for 5 minutes, I actually think I can almost understand what he's talking about, and that makes me think of him as attractive, too.

And there I'm stuck. I can't think of 5 attractive, famous guys - and yet there must be quite a few more that if I saw them on the silver screen, I'd be tempted to go 'phoarrr'...yet I can't think of their names.

the rest of the days )
gamiila: (bonnet)
...and I've fallen so far behind...

At least, my LinkedIn is starting to work for me. People I don't know personally have now started to link in with me, and one or two have actually taken the trouble to point me to job openings. None very pertinent so far, but that's my fault for not properly defining what I'm looking for exactly. That'll be my task for the coming week then, and while I'm at it, I can stop giving out the impression that I'm desperate, as it's not currently doing me any favours.

Also, I keep being told that I should set up a Twitter-account as more and more job opportunities are being tweeted these days. But I'm not sure how this works and so I haven't followed that advice yet. What would I call myself, for one thing? What if I set up an account and I don't use it, as I don't use any of my social media-accounts except for LJ? I'd only be clogging up cyberspace.

So, I turn to you, oh flist, to tell me: Twitter -- a good idea, or a bad one?

All gone

Dec. 4th, 2010 02:19 pm
gamiila: (oh noes)
Checking my primary Gmail-account this morning, I found that it had been inundated by spam overnight. Annoying as this is, I didn't think it was too much of a problem; I just deleted and then deleted forever all 3 pages of spam. However, it then became apparent that I had another, more serious problem -- I no longer had any messages in my Inbox dating from after Jan 29th, 2010. In other words, I had lost a whole year's worth of correspondence, or in Gmail speak, conversations. Which wouldn't be so bad if had just been private e-mail back and forth; but included in these missing messages were my applications and all the replies I had received to them in the past 7 months...and I need (a record of) these in order to continue to qualify for unemployment benefit. Luckily, I have kept some in hardcopy, but not all...

I followed Google's advice to troubleshoot and try and retrieve my messages. I found there had been suspicious activity on my account from an unknown IP-address ( which according to the results of an Internet search belongs to the Visto Corporation in Redwood City, CA, USA -- and that, probably as a direct result, my messages had been irretrievably deleted.

ETA: Curiouser and curiouser...

"Company Overview
Visto Corporation provides mobile messaging services for mobile operators. It offers Visto Mobile, a platform for mobile service providers to deliver push email, calendar, contacts, and various corporate data to a set of devices; and Visto open solution, which enables email for the mass business market. The company also provides Visto Mobile Internet Edition, which provides mobile push emails for up to five Internet email accounts; Visto Mobile Personal Edition, which is designed for individuals and small groups, offices, and departments with less than five people; and Visto Mobile Enterprise Edition, which is used in larger organizations and allows information technology managers to install..."

Does that sound like they could be spammers? Or are they more likely to be just another link in the chain?
gamiila: (Default)
...He opens a window; isn't that what they say?

I received a telephone call first thing this morning, from an agency I registered with 2 months ago. At the time, they wouldn't return my phone calls, or see me. Now, all of a sudden they think they may be able to place me with one of their clients, after all. Was I still available, did I have any holiday plans, and could I start as per Sept. 6th (provided the client agrees to take me on)?

So, I'm taking a test to check my suitability today, meet with the agency rep tomorrow, and am set up for an interview with the client (Belastingdienst, i.e. the Dutch equivalent of the Inland Revenue) on Thursday.

We'll see how it goes, eh?


Yesterday, my 6 month old laptop gave me a scare. After using it for a while, I left it to make dinner; then when I came back to it, the screen froze. It wouldn't let me log on again and carry on with my work, and in the end all I could think to do was to let the battery run empty overnight. It was with enormous trepidation that I fired it up again this morning; but as is evident from this post, my solution borne of desperation had done the trick. But, I'm very disappointed to find that there's no way to reboot this laptop while its battery is still fully powered up.
gamiila: (Default)
For the past week or so, I've been taking pictures with my new camera that I bought just three months ago. With Where I Live Day 2010 coming up next weekend, I thought I'd download what I had so far managed to shoot to my harddisk...and found that I'd misplaced the teeny tiny USB-cable that came with it. I can't find it anywhere! Now I'm wondering who best to petition, St. Anthony of Padua, or St. Jude. Calling on the former would betray a level of optimism I don't possess, whilst calling on the latter would mean I've given up entirely, and I'm not sure that I have yet.

I spent the day yesterday soaking up the sun in my oldest friend's beautifully laid out garden, to which I wasn't the only visitor: there were frogs and dragonflies and turtledoves, too. It would have been the perfect afternoon but for the fact that being out of work has made me feel uncomfortable and unworthy, and ever so slightly envious of my old school chum who's been in civil service since the day she left uni and married a rich man to boot, and so can't empathise with my situation at all. I know it's stupid and counter-productive to feel this way, but I can't help it.

I saw a job advertised for guide to a local museum to which specific knowledge of art and antiquities was required, and got really excited; but it's irregular work and pays peanuts, so however much it pains me, I'm going to have to pass up on it and keep looking for something far less appealing in the way of content, but offering much better scope of enabling me to meet my mortgage payments. ::sigh:: If only jobs like this had been available when I was reading art history! I'm sure I would have stood a much better chance of making it in my chosen profession if that had been the case.
gamiila: (Default)
Honestly, I've never had so many problems with computers and networks before! I'm beginning to think it's me, like I'm radiating some sort of negative vibe that interferes with my router and everything else. Shortly after posting my last message, just while I was in the middle of doing my taxes, the Internet sent me a message to the effect of "So long, sucker! Bwahahahaha ::evil laugh of doom::!", and left me without so much as a backward glance. Anyway, it's back now, so I'd better make the most of it while it remains in a good enough mood to let me post.

So, with two days to spare before the deadline, I've done and sent off my tax assessment. Hopefully I haven't made any mistakes, but if I have I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.

My elbow is slowly getting better, since I'm taking doctor's advice and am only working half days for now. This meant I could spend the afternoon and a fair bit of cash at Ikea the other day; I've since been busy assembling and putting up bookcases and dressers and my first ever real home office chair in a nice white fake leather finish: it swivels and everything!

And finally, after having had to deal with the most appalling customer services organisation in the world on numerous occasions, I've managed to arrange for the interment of Dad's ashes this coming Thursday. I can't believe it's been 6 months since he died...though I know it has. It's just that I can still picture him so vividly, the sound of his voice, the glint in his eye. I hope I'll never forget these things.
gamiila: (Default) looks like my desktop computer is finally broken. It wouldn't start up this morning, and despite my best efforts, remains stubbornly incapable of finding its own hard disk. Thankfully, I have my laptop; all earlier thought of putting it up on eBay has been rebranded 'stupidest idea ever'.

I'll be going back to work on Monday; sitting around at home doesn't seem to be helping my arm get better and (ulterior motive) I don't want to scupper my chances of promotion, esp. not now that I've managed to get my certification. It'd be different if my former manager were still in charge, but she isn't and I'm not sure what views her successor holds.

I spoke to my GP about getting some cortisone injections, but she refused to co-operate saying I'd be better off in the long run with a work place assessment, which the health care services person who kept ringing for an update every other day (oh! to be still at hp where they wouldn't bother you for the first 3 weeks! but you get what you pay for, I suppose, and hp was always stingey) has now set up for Wednesday afternoon. I thought it would involve someone coming round to check out my desk, but apparently not, as I've been asked to present myself at another location presumably for a once-over and a chat. They'll probably tell me to reinstall that annoying s/w that beeps and locks your pc for a few minutes every 2 hours, so that you can take the time to do one or two stretching exercises. Like that's ever going to happen!

The past two days have been dry, mild and (mostly) sunny. Small wonder then, that I feel the urge to go outside and check out the spring shoe collections. After four months in winter boots, I'm desperately in need of some lightweight fun and preferably flowery footwear. I've seen a pair I like from Irregular Choice, but I don't want to wait a week to have them delivered and then having to send them back because their size is all wrong (for some reason, occasionally IC's size 40 is too small while their size 41 is usually -and reassuringly- too big). Those therefore will have to wait until I can plan an escape to London some time soon, but in the meantime, let's see if I can't find something to tempt me a little closer to home.
gamiila: (Default)
In the six or so weeks since I've bought my laptop, I've used it exactly twice. I find it too much of a hassle to take it out of its storing cupboard and set it up when there's a perfectly serviceable desktop all ready to go in the next room. Granted, it may not have all the shiny new features the laptop offers, but I'm used to how it works and I'm perfectly happy with that -- so why did I blow 650 euros on something that on second thoughts I have to admit I have absolutely no need for? To think I could have bought four or five or even more pairs of shoes for that kind of money in the sales!

I thought having a laptop would be so liberating; I thought I could take it anywhere, anytime, and be connected...I didn't realise it needs charging before you can take it out to the park and bang away at the keys for two, maybe three hours; or that it needs something called a dongle before you can take it to the park in the first place. And I've found out that carrying it around from one place to another, or from room to room even, is an encumbrance more than anything else. And so it sits in the cupboard while I type this up at my old desktop pc...

And now my mp3-player (that's actually an mp4-player but I use it for music files exclusively) has given up the ghost again. Actually, it did so very shortly after I lost my Internet connection, so about six months ago; but I thought all it needed was perhaps a firmware upgrade and it'd be right as rain again. How wrong I was! First off, there is no firmware upgrade for it, and secondly, it won't even reinstall its current version. It seems the hard disk has failed. This makes it my third Creative Zen to have lasted just over a year from date of purchase; which frankly isn't good enough.

So now I'm tempted to go and buy an iPod to replace it, because everyone I've talked to said theirs has lasted a minimum of three years and is, in most cases, still working. The other reason being that I can't seem to find another 60GB or higher mp3-player by Creative in any of the shops, but they do carry iPods of up to 160GB for about the same price. However, I'm hesitant as I don't know that the iPod and I will click: I've been warned that down- or uploading files from iTunes will slow down my Windows system even more...and do you still need to convert your iTunes-files to mp3 before you can swap them out? Or, even worse, do I need to convert my current collection of 10,000+ mp3-files to the iPod-format before I can import them? 'Cause that sounds like a lot of work to me, and I'm not sure I want to take that on.
gamiila: (Default)
So, here we are, in the Year of the Golden Tiger. And as I happen to be a Tiger, a Fire Tiger, I thought I'd check online what's in store for me. A bit of everything, it seems: I'll meet someone and move in with them before the year is out/I'll not meet someone and stay where I am; I'll be financially secure all year/I'll be poor as a church rat if I'm not careful; I'll get promoted at work/I'll just muddle along same as always; my health will be good/it will be so-so. All depending on whether I'm a weak or a strong Fire Tiger, and although I've no clear idea which is me, this new year's started off pretty well with a bear hug received from [ profile] anonypooh.

Still having a few problems with my computers. For instance, whenever I open my laptop it wants me to burn a recovery cd, and tells me I need 4 disks to do it. It spends 2 hours writing to the first disk I feed it, then spits out all the others saying they're not writable. Since this has happened to two newly-bought boxes of cd-s, I'm starting to think it might just be messing with me.

Another problem I've yet to solve is that although it will allow me to receive mail, it won't let me send it, saying it needs authentication from the SMTP-server...I'm really starting to regret having bought the damn thing.
gamiila: (Default)
Today, I bought a nice, 18" flatscreen monitor and hooked it up to my old desktop computer. What with it working without fail now, I'm starting to feel a little guilty towards it, as only last week I did seek to replace it with a shiny new notebook...the notebook I'm currently typing this message up on, as it happens. For yay! I now have wi-fi as well.

But that's about all I have; I've still got to (re)install most of my applications and see if I can find a way to recover the music files I lost in the crash. If push comes to shove, I'm sure I could find the time to rip my entire cd-collection again, although I would need about a year; but would I also need to buy my iTunes from iTunes again? As I've always been extremely lacksadaisical as far as backing up my pc was concerned, I'm afraid I've lost the lot.

I must admit though, I do like my laptop, even if it has proved a bit of a disappointment in that it only lasts a couple of hours on the battery that it takes forever to charge. My dream of taking it to the park this summer and spend all day browsing the web and sending out e-mails while basking in the sunshine (yay! for sunshine, so much better than snow and ice) will never now come true...not unless I take the world's longest extension cord along.

I went to see Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law the other day. Cinematographically, I couldn't fault it; and Robert Downey Jr. was brilliant as ever, and yet it failed to satisfy...The fact that a mere 10 days later I couldn't really tell you the plot should tell you all you need to know. Tomorrow, I'll be going to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; as I've been looking forward to it for more than a year, I hope it'll leave more of an impression.
gamiila: (Default)
Ever heard of a delayed hangover? I hadn't, but I did suffer from it yesterday. I woke up feeling refreshed and fine, but things soon went downhill after I'd had my first morning cup of coffee: a sudden raging headache, an inability to regulate my body temperature and keep warm, and finally, nausea and several bouts of puking. It got so bad I had to cancel my plans for the afternoon; which was a shame really as a friend of mine was coming round to help me finish restoring my Internet access (now that I've got a shiny new laptop, I want wi-fi installed, and I couldn't get it sorted last Thursday when just restoring basic Internet access proved hard enough), so I'm still on the old desktop that I've come to really dislike over the last few months of its sitting idly in the corner reminding me what an IT-nitwit I've become. Not that I was ever much of a boffin, but I did get through a post-doc course in Information Technology at Leicester University some 15-odd years ago, and had to annually sit for the Microsoft certification exams while I worked in support at hp...I do have some knowledge of computer operation systems and software, though I try not to show it...but as with all areas of expertise, it's keeping up with it that's key, I suppose.

The other day, several of my colleagues, who know that in an earlier life I trained as an archaeologist, came to me all excited-like, wanting to know if I'd heard about the major new discovery in Egypt, that the pyramids weren't built by slave labour? I hadn't, but I was quite perplexed: whoever had seriously thought they were? With all the documentary evidence, the lists that itemise the goods the workforces on the pyramids were given in exchange for their labour, it's been clear for many decades that they were built by ordinary workers, people who could and did down tools when they weren't paid or provisioned, as happened occasionally. Luckily, there I didn't need to be up to date with my information to set my colleagues straight on a few facts of archaeological and egyptological practise. A pity computer-related science doesn't stick in my memory like those other disciplines do, or I would have been online again much sooner.

But I was telling you about my hangover, and how I got to acquire it. Friday night was the night of our annual company winter party, and it was a themed one this time. The theme, predictably, was 'winter'. We were all required to dress in silver and white, and the venue was called De Zuidpool (The South Pole), sort of a big white shack on a big frozen pond that doubled as an ice rink. There was a DJ and a cover band, a laser show on the ice, and plenty of food and drink...and a free bar. Not just wine, beer, and soft drinks, but spirits as well. And that last must have been my downfall: they had Bombay Sapphire gin, which [ profile] love_by_137 introduced me to in Belfast a couple of years ago. They also had fake ice cubes with flickering blue lights in them - they looked so pretty in my g&t-s! I've just emptied my bag of them; I've brought home 10.

Though I can only remember downing 6 in the course of the evening, and being able to walk, not weave, my way over to the cabs the company had hired in order to deliver all us party-goers safely to our respective doors. So perhaps it wasn't the drink, but the scallops that gave me a bad reaction the day after? They didn't seem or taste off to me...
gamiila: (Default)
After all the time it's taken me to get back online, I certainly can't claim to be an IT god, but I'm sure my new black beauty of a laptop will soon help me forget about the frustrations of the last 6 months or so and it'll be as if I never went away at all.

I will say this for my enforced absence: I managed to get through quite a bit of reading - a whopping 22 books between mid-August and Christmas, bringing last year's total up to 52. Unfortunately, they weren't all wonderful, but some at least were very, very enjoyable. Some, like Herodotus's The Histories, I'd been meaning to read for years, but never found the time for. So far this year, I've finished four; and I've just started on my fifth (Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall)...but I've got a feeling that now I've got my interwebs back, my reading will slow down again.
gamiila: (Default)
I spent the entire weekend trying to sort out my Internet access. Despite my best efforts, ranging from taking the computer apart and rebuilding it to completely reinstalling Windows from scratch, I failed miserably. Now my only option is to wait for my inheritance and the January sales, and get myself that laptop I've been thinking about

I can't tell you how much I'm missing you all. I have been given Internet access at work, but it's approved sites only; and neither LiveJournal nor Facebook qualify.


Oct. 7th, 2009 05:54 pm
gamiila: (Default)
This morning, while I was trawling through the shops of a very, very rainy Amsterdam, I found Series Two of Life on Mars on dvd, or thought I did. It wasn't until I got home that I noticed they were the wrong region...I wouldn't have thought there'd be much call for Australian dvd-s over here, but it seems I'd be surprised.

About a month ago, I signed up for German conversation classes on a whim, and I took my first introductory lesson last Monday. I was a bit tongue-tied though, even if I'd just been to Germany...but I suppose I muddled through my first hour and a half sufficiently well enough for my teacher, a woman hailing from the German-speaking part of Luxemburg, to decide I'm going to be first up for the Vortrag next time, a 20 minute monologue on something in the news, or anything else I might wish to discuss. I wish I could think of something! Still, I've got 4 more days to come up with any ideas...should be a doddle ;-).

No joy in sorting out my Internet woes yet. I think the problem's in my modem now...or one of the problems is. I really should ask someone who knows about these things.
gamiila: (Default)
and much reduced: I can't get on the Internet because Windows appears to have crashed on my pc, or my pc might have developed an aversion to Windows, and who could blame it? Anyway, I'm well, no major changes, except that I've been promoted to 'senior' which means more responsibility and more hours, but as yet, no more pay. Now, let's see if I can post this from my phone without losing it in cyberspace a third time. Missing you all, hope you're all fine!


gamiila: (Default)

December 2012

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