liadnan: (Default)

Well, you see, I 'bought' (for a price equal to a discount on my next bill) a new mobile phone, as I was entitled to a free upgrade, and with a sigh of relief ditched the piece of Samsung crap that has bedevilled my life for a year and more and put me off ever buying anything made by Samsung at all again. Ever. Ever.

Said phone has a camera, which had nothing to do with my choice: to be honest the current mania for sticking a camera on every new gadget seems vaguely pointless to me and despite Orange's best efforts I continue to use my mobile phone almost solely for that archaic purpose, making phone calls.

Nonetheless, I thought I'd give the camera a try out, and took a couple of photos today.

And now what? The bugger actually has a USB port, but neither Linux nor Windows (the first time I've logged into Windows since shortly after I bought this machine, I suddenly realised) knows what to do with it. Windows helpfully tells me that it knows it's a Motorola V220 but that it knows of no drivers for it, sorry guvnor. I can, at enormous cost, access my email through the phone, and thus send myself an email, but I don't appear to be able to attach anything. So I can sent other people text messages including the photo. How, um, pointless.

Which is a shame because to my surprise the photographs were significantly better than expected, though obviously not as good as if I'd used the digital camera I was carrying in my jacket pocket instead.

liadnan: (Default)

But really, for fucks sake. I have spent my last few lunchtimes trawling round Oxford Street and TCR looking for a coffee pot, as my current one is on its last legs. (And haven't found one yet: some might say this is because I am both an Olympic level procrastinator and dangerously obsessive about coffee and how it is made, I prefer to think that I am a careful shopper who knows precisely what it is he wants and is sceptical about clever new twiddly bits on coffee pots because they tend to break.)

This, however, is not about that, but about the fact that in Heals yesterday I found them putting up Christmas decorations.

Bah, as someone once said, humbug.

Went to the Borders China Mieville and Susannah Clarke reading last night with Gez: highly enjoyable it was too. She seemed to be the recipient of most of the questions, but I did note with interest Mieville's comment that he is dissasociating (there are too many ss in that word) himself from the "New Weird" label. Why he will apparently explain in due course. Clarke has apparently been writing Jonathan Strange for nearly ten years: her response to various questions (including one from Mieville) on the lines of "how the hell did you get a 782 page first novel published?" ("Well, I just got an agent" ['cos they're two a penny] "plus I told them it would be 100,000 words less than it turned out" [so, an entire ordinary novel then,,,]). None of which, of course, affects the fact it's a very good book. And then on to dinner: this is actually the first night I have been entirely sober at 10:30 in a week and a half, which is not entirely a Good Thing.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my main email personal address is regularly falling foul of spam filters, particularly on yahoo and hotmail. Which is an immensely irritating thought, though better than the alternative: that nobody loves me.

Right. Back to preparing for an utterly ridiculous case. Right at the moment I want to hit my client over the head with a hammer, several times, repeating my advice with each blow.

Ho hum.

Sep. 27th, 2004 08:50 am
liadnan: (Default)

Well, so I bought a new laptop (I did look at second hand etc but for various reasons decided against it). And all went well, installed linux and all worked like a dream.

Until the power unit completely failed on Sunday morning.

After throwing the fucker out of the window I decided to revert to hunter-gatherer. Sadly I haven't caught anything on Primrose Hill yet. I am still reflecting on whether fire and the wheel fall within my definition of an acceptable level of technology*.

To settle my fit of temper I decided to go and visit two places I didn't manage to fit in on Open House London weekend: Wellington Arch (v. unfamiliar perspective on familiar views from the top) and Apsley House ("No.1 London", the Duke of Wellington Museum).

Both are well worth the visit. The oddest thing I found in the latter was the colossal -and I use the term advisedly, and technically- statue of a nude Napoleon holding Victory (or Peace?) in the palm of his hand, which lives in the stairwell (couldn't really go anywhere else). When I saw it my immediate comment was "Oh my gawd" and it would seem Napoleon's must have been similar: apparently the Emperor found it so embarrassing he had it hidden behind screens at the Louvre. Then the British Government bought it from Louis XVIII for 66000 livres (he must have laughed all the way to the bank), and the Prince Regent gave it to Wellington, who put it where it now is.

Now, leaving aside the odd distinction between the British Government buying it and the Prince Regent giving it (this may have something to do with the removal of control over Crown finances from him and the institution of the Civil List, which must have happened around then) it seems to me that there are more than two levels of messages here, bearing in mind that the Prince Regent's relationship with Wellington was somewhat ambivalent. I'm just not sure what they are, or on whom the joke is.

There is, incidentally, a much better (and more recognisable) portrait of Napoleon at the head of the stairs.

Wellington was a noted art collector (so Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell says in passing, anyway). When he defeated Joseph Bonaparte, he captured the Spanish Royal Collection, and the King of Spain told him to keep it (so sayeth the museum, this may be something of an exaggeration as the last time I looked the Prado was hardly empty). Wellington had them put in the Waterloo Gallery, where he held his annual Waterloo Dinner, and what struck me here was that one of the three pictures in prime positions (ie in the centre of the three walls with pictures) was of Mary Tudor (the others were of Rudolph II, and of Charles I on the long wall). It's reasonably obvious what it was doing in the Spanish Royal Collection but prominently displayed in the formal collection of the High Tory of High Tories, in a room used for a specific formal purpose? Was there more than pragmatism to Wellington's support for Catholic Emancipation? No, almost certainly not, but still...

It's a good portrait actually. I haven't seen that many of her (I doubt there are many): one can easily see the resemblance to her sister. I always think Mary gets a raw deal: not only does her equally bloodthirsty sister get to rule for a generation after her and thus control the history, and have the most gifted generation of English writers to help her establish her image; but their unbelivably stupid, arrogant, and irritating cousin, her namesake, gets all the tragic status. Bah humbug.

*The computer is covered under warranty of course, and they've agreed to replace it, but I left the manuals etc, which they want back, at home, so I'll have to do it tomorrow. What's bothering me are the mildly confidential documents I'd put on there and can't delete until it has power, though they are protected by passwords... They're on the linux partition, and in any case I'm fairly sure that they'll reformat the hard disk as a matter of course: anyone with the requisite knowledge have any views or ideas?

liadnan: (Default)

Well, given that's a sample lyric it's perhaps slightly bizarre that this is my cheer-up album of choice. But that's the Flaming Lips for you.

As expected, the laptop screen is uneconomic to replace. I am so furious about the 200 quid I spent on repairs last week I can't bring myself to think about it.

Eventually decided tospend up to 850 on a brand new machine. Which means the choices are narrowed down to a 12" screen G4 iBook (the plan *had* been that when I bought a new machine a year from now it would be a top end power book) at 799; a 15" Fujitsu Siemens thing at 860, or a fairly well-specified 14" Asus (?) at750. It'll probably be the ast of those, but if anyone has any observations to make now would be the time to make them.

liadnan: (Default)

Two days after spending a fortune having the laptop mended I've bust the screen. Well, it's semi-useable but there are black blots all over the left half.

Are laptop screens actually replaceable. And is it worth it?

liadnan: (Default)

Ho hum. Just back from court on a s.359 (rectification of a register of company shareholders, if you're interested, which I doubt). Mr Registrar [N] decided to spend half the hearing reminiscing about his very first case as a Registrar back in the good old days, and how I really ought to look it up (because it might have been relevant to his jurisdiction and it was fun anyway, something to do with the Hollies), but since he'd already decided to do what I wanted him to do anyway I didn't mind.

Being a barrister is, sadly, not significantly like making love to a beautiful woman. Nor, of course, is it much like Kavanagh QC, Ally McBeal, that dire sitcom Chambers or Rumpole, at least in my field and at my level. Clerks, or whatever it was called, and This Life came a bit closer but avoided going into much detail. Why? Because, 90 percent of the time, it's actually quite dull, from the outside. At least 40 percent of the time it's dull from the inside.

In the end, the main purposes of my existence include being someone for angry High Court Judges to shout at for things that aren't my fault, and for maudlin Circuit Judges, Masters, and Registrars to tell sad stories of the death of kings anecdotes from their own careers, in a lazy half-hour before lunch.

I deserve every penny that people unaccountably never get around to paying me, I tell you.

****

I was really cross with someone for not answering the several calls I made to their mobile, or the text message I finally sent them, yesterday. Sadly, said person has now proved to me that I was in fact calling, not to mention SMSing, if that's a word, someone else. Who that may have been I have no idea, nor do I understand how and why the number in my phone address book changed. As I said, I'm an idiot.

Daft Ideas

Mar. 1st, 2004 06:18 pm
liadnan: (Default)

Mobiles to work on the tube it seems. Bugger.

LUL did a survey on whether passengers wanted this two or three years ago, and the overwhelming response was "don't be so bloody stupid, can you imagine how much worse rush hour would be if we were all on the phone all the way?" Wisely, or so it seemed at the time, they dropped the plan. But apparently the new surveys have different responses. Well, bugger that, they didn't ask me, so it doesn't count.

Meanwhile, a 24 hour tube strike is likely to happen next week (the 12th) and the Northern line still doesn't have full service.

A further trawl around the news (and yes, Steve was quite right about John Snow's daily email by the way; is there another presenter in the country who would write "We'll be blowing hot and cold air at seven. Come blow up your horn with us, it's a red-hot night, things are a-gurgling. See you then... ") reveals that the Camden Palace has changed hands. For £4M. Someone has money to burn: I wouldn't pay an eighth of that, even if I had it. But oh, I remember Camden Palace in the old days. Well, ten to twelve years ago...

It was rubbish, actually.

liadnan: (Default)

The tape recorder in the courtroom I've wasted most of the day in evidently has interesting capabilities. On the back it had a socket with "time injector in" marked on it.

I wish I had a time injector.

liadnan: (Default)

This is now less than funny.

Having eventually given up and gone drinking once my laptop battery had given up the ghost yesterday, I actually had a fair amount to catch up on today. Arrived in bright and early and started banging away on Stuff, and then..

Flicker flicker bang.

Lights go off again. Laptop, which is slightly flaky on the battery at the best of times decides to faint in manner of early 19th century romantic heroine wearing punishing corset, taking with it unbacked up work and corrupting, for reasons I don't quite understand, half my preference settings on various applications.

Bollocks.

Only half the area went this time, because unlike yesterday (apparently caused by "a high voltage cable [dramatically] exploding at Farringdon" (6 injured)) this was the local substation going, presumably because it felt depressed and let down. Well, we've all been there. No one quite understood why it was bits and pieces of the area that went, rather than any coherent chunk, but here it is.

Eventually I found a free room where we still had power, and managed to restore some sense of order and propriety to my life, or at least my laptop, but it's bloody cold in here and I have to send this out tonight. So I'm not in the best of moods (how odd, they all remark). So whinging is all you're going to receive from me today: the witty, elegant posts will have to wait for another lifetime. As will the sestina. Or siesta, whichever seems more appropriate.

liadnan: (Default)

Fun lunch (after a spectacularly efficient DJ dealt with my case in less than the five minutes allotted, rather than the 15 or so more than allotted that is usual) with Ailbhe, who took me all round Reading including to the abbey. Reading is indeed a far more pleasant place than I was previously aware.

Now sitting in my office listening to Belle and Sebastian (Fold your hands child) very very quietly in case someone comes in to complain from next door. As a result I'm trying to work out if Legal Man is on any of the albums and if, as I suspect, not, why I think I own a copy.

I'm also vaguely wondering why XP frequently forgets I have a DVD/CD player in this machine, and I have to spend ages convincing it otherwise. Linux doesn't, but I never use that and only have it on for show and in the ambition that one day I might get around to doing something with it.

I have decided I want a cat. Siamese for choice: it's a family thing, we used to breed them, but they cost a fortune.

Proms guide is out. Trying to decide whether I can afford a season ticket this year. The answer is almost certainly "no, but hey...". I so badly need someone to take control of my money from me.

Bollocks

Mar. 25th, 2003 05:40 pm
liadnan: (Default)

Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks. Computers are rubbish. No, they are, really. Hours of work somehow turned into a corrupted file. I'm going back to doing everything in sodding longhand, everything I tell you.

I want a holiday.

I'm fed up actually. I'm still permanently exhausted even atthe start of the day, near dead at the end. I don't have time or energy to write anything, or even read anything stronger than Peter and Jane go to the Beach (I shan't give away the ending).

Bah, humbug. &c.

liadnan: (Default)

Thursday morning. Seems to come round once a week.

I like Thursdays. They always seem hopeful. If you think that sounds like nonsensical wibbling, chances are you're right.

I should, of course, be working: spent yesterday faffing around being worried about the meeting. Well, that hurdle's jumped: now I have to get stuff finished by Monday morning.

I'm going to have to buy myself a new computer and a new suit too. Which is a fairly considerable financial outlay even without considering that finances are going to be a little tight for a while. I think I shall have to do some fast talking to the bank. They forgot about me some time ago: my personal manager went, they never told me who was replacing him, and no one has rung up to hassle me about my overdraft and loans in the way he used to, which suited me for a while.

Thinking about getting a Mac G4/G3 Powerbook. Yes, I know, linux, blah, but I just don't have the time to learn how to use it properly since, as far as I'm concerned, there are many things more interesting in the world I don't know enough about yet.

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