mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Used over £50 worth of Delay Repay Vouchers, to pay for 25% of my season ticket! Strikes and other delays and cancellations are still ongoing.
Most important thing to happen is that I have transferred to a new NHS Organisational Unit NEL Commissioning Support Unit as a Junior Service Desk Analyst (This is apparently a permanent role!)
The second most important thing was that I caught a could which converted into Laryngitis, which mean I was off work for 2 weeks! Saw 2 different GPs and got signed off work. I also saw a consultant re the aches and pains in my joints/back.
I have still been going to Yoga (strikes and illness permitting) and to ball room dancing too. Had an extra "Strictly Snowflake" Saturday Dance, which I went to even without voice! (I could still dance).
Other major news, in collaboration with my next door neighbour, our semi-detached garage has been re-roofed. This was instigated by the neighbour but given the state of the roof it was about time.
I was able to pay for this and the final instalment for the work on the main house room last month due to having to option to remove some money from my AVC pension top up plan.
D went to Holland for a weekend visit, relating to his status after brexit!, and I had to look after his kitten Maya, she was a sweetie.
After returning to work went to see "Fabulous Beasts & Where to Find Them" at the cinema, a slight story but with wonderful sets and special effects.
By the end of the month Winter came with a vengeance with temperatures of -3°C.
mbernardi: (Default)
So over the Christmas holiday (which I spent at my parents/sister and family) I suffered a cold, causing me to cough all night. I did get better over time and now my coughing is not nearly as racking.

My Dad's eye sight is still poor, an I've been investigating option that will allow him to read his office (once a priest, always a priest even after retirement). I've been looking at Kindles / Android tablets with large print and read aloud options. Also text to speech on Windows 7 (but the free options seem very limited).

I've also re-started listening to Audible books, most recently "Bloodlist" by P N Elrod, read by Barrett Whitener. This is the first in the Jack Fleming series. I'll probably get the next one in the series as my January book.

One thing that is different in contracting, than in permanent employment is payment. I now get paid weekly, and have to get 3 different sets of time sheet numbers completed every week. One for the company where I'm actually working, one for the recruitment company (signed) and one for the payroll company (done on line). Then I have to have a master sheet for my own personal use, which includes all expenses and salary details.

We were working between Christmas and New Year (for 3 days) which was an unusual experience for me. The building was almost empty, and with nearly all the permanent staff off we got a lot done. I'd made some suggestions about documentation, and was very surprised to be shown some a while later that took my idea and ran with it, to produce something that would have been very good to have when we started! It was still very handy even so...

I've been wanting to see "Stomp" at the theatre for years, but haven't got around to it. I was therefore very happy to see that it was on Sky Arts during the Christmas/New Year period. I managed to watch it this time and was very impressed. They managed a live recording at the Dome in Brighton. Anyone interested in dance/acrobatics/movement and percussion should try to get to see this. And I expect a live performance would be event better.

My favourite ebook reader on my ipod has been for the last few years "Stanza" which is well supported by many ebook sellers. However a few years ago Amazon bought the company, and the software languished unsupported. Last November a final version was released, with a note that no further support was available. Unfortunately this copy was broken and only ran on iOS 5 devices. Since I have an iPod Touch 2G with iOS 4.2.1 it stopped working! I did manage to recover the previous version of Stanza on my device, but decided enough was enough, and moved to ShuBook, which while not quite as functional as Stanza is under current development. I have managed to archive all the ebooks I'd downloaded to Stanza (285 in total) and have just finished copying them back into ShuBook. Stanza is no longer on my iPod!

For New Year D cooked a chicken dinner with roast potatoes and sprouts. There was a chicken EACH so I've been eating the stuff all week.

Last Tuesday there was a storm across the UK and trees were blown down on the railway line, which meant that instead of taking 45min door to door, it took and hour and a half (which was my average journey time when I worked in London!) Luckily nothing was damaged near my house and if I hadn't watched the news I'd never have known.

With the New Year a new batch of people started doing the admin work we had been doing for 2 weeks, I got asked to do some mentoring, which seemed to go well. I'm also part of the pilot group which will start on the second half of the job, inputting data from the on site examining engineers.

I've been looking at the other software that was on the original requirements list (Office skills being number one) Visio was mentioned and I've do a little with it but not much. The other was SmartDraw a simple CAD package. I was able to download a demo and it looks very easy to use. It has the same layout as Office 2007/2010 and a wide selection of pre-developed objects. I would expect that Amey has added their own widgets, so I'll have to try it out next week.

Today I went shopping and got a coat (on sale at £11) and pyjamas (on sale at £1.50!) then to the library and got 3 books (including the latest book club one), and finally to the hairdresser to get a hair cut. Then home and a chance to update my blog!
mbernardi: (Default)
So over the Christmas holiday (which I spent at my parents/sister and family) I suffered a cold, causing me to cough all night. I did get better over time and now my coughing is not nearly as racking.

My Dad's eye sight is still poor, an I've been investigating option that will allow him to read his office (once a priest, always a priest even after retirement). I've been looking at Kindles / Android tablets with large print and read aloud options. Also text to speech on Windows 7 (but the free options seem very limited).

I've also re-started listening to Audible books, most recently "Bloodlist" by P N Elrod, read by Barrett Whitener. This is the first in the Jack Fleming series. I'll probably get the next one in the series as my January book.

One thing that is different in contracting, than in permanent employment is payment. I now get paid weekly, and have to get 3 different sets of time sheet numbers completed every week. One for the company where I'm actually working, one for the recruitment company (signed) and one for the payroll company (done on line). Then I have to have a master sheet for my own personal use, which includes all expenses and salary details.

We were working between Christmas and New Year (for 3 days) which was an unusual experience for me. The building was almost empty, and with nearly all the permanent staff off we got a lot done. I'd made some suggestions about documentation, and was very surprised to be shown some a while later that took my idea and ran with it, to produce something that would have been very good to have when we started! It was still very handy even so...

I've been wanting to see "Stomp" at the theatre for years, but haven't got around to it. I was therefore very happy to see that it was on Sky Arts during the Christmas/New Year period. I managed to watch it this time and was very impressed. They managed a live recording at the Dome in Brighton. Anyone interested in dance/acrobatics/movement and percussion should try to get to see this. And I expect a live performance would be event better.

My favourite ebook reader on my ipod has been for the last few years "Stanza" which is well supported by many ebook sellers. However a few years ago Amazon bought the company, and the software languished unsupported. Last November a final version was released, with a note that no further support was available. Unfortunately this copy was broken and only ran on iOS 5 devices. Since I have an iPod Touch 2G with iOS 4.2.1 it stopped working! I did manage to recover the previous version of Stanza on my device, but decided enough was enough, and moved to ShuBook, which while not quite as functional as Stanza is under current development. I have managed to archive all the ebooks I'd downloaded to Stanza (285 in total) and have just finished copying them back into ShuBook. Stanza is no longer on my iPod!

For New Year D cooked a chicken dinner with roast potatoes and sprouts. There was a chicken EACH so I've been eating the stuff all week.

Last Tuesday there was a storm across the UK and trees were blown down on the railway line, which meant that instead of taking 45min door to door, it took and hour and a half (which was my average journey time when I worked in London!) Luckily nothing was damaged near my house and if I hadn't watched the news I'd never have known.

With the New Year a new batch of people started doing the admin work we had been doing for 2 weeks, I got asked to do some mentoring, which seemed to go well. I'm also part of the pilot group which will start on the second half of the job, inputting data from the on site examining engineers.

I've been looking at the other software that was on the original requirements list (Office skills being number one) Visio was mentioned and I've do a little with it but not much. The other was SmartDraw a simple CAD package. I was able to download a demo and it looks very easy to use. It has the same layout as Office 2007/2010 and a wide selection of pre-developed objects. I would expect that Amey has added their own widgets, so I'll have to try it out next week.

Today I went shopping and got a coat (on sale at £11) and pyjamas (on sale at £1.50!) then to the library and got 3 books (including the latest book club one), and finally to the hairdresser to get a hair cut. Then home and a chance to update my blog!
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
I've continued to suffer from cold / flu / asthma so I finally visited the Doctor last night. She said I'd probably had a mild viral infection exacerbated by my asthma, I need to increase the use of my inhaler by 4 times and it should resolve. It already seems to have had an impact.

At the end of October Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala was released and I've been playing with it. It seems to be faster starting and is easier to install on SD Cards and USB sticks. The Netbook Remix is also much smaller and easier to install too.

I've been trying to move material from my old 486 running MS-Dos 6.22 to more up to date storage, and have so far managed to recover some of my original digital pictures from a now defunct Casio QV-10, they were very small and grainy but at the time...

I have decided to reduce my book buying. This is because I was unable to pay off all my credit card bills for the last two months, a large chunk of which were Amazon and Forbidden Planet. Since the 6th October I have only bought 3 books, not including ebooks or books ordered prior to this point. This doesn't mean I haven't got anything to read as I do have a large too be read pile. This has been successful as I was able to pay off all my credit card bill this month.

Last Thursday I had my yearly appraisal, which boiled down to "must improve performance" ;-(
This was followed by going to The Hawth theatre to see Fascinating Aida which was great, for those who haven't heard them they, are a bit like a female version of Flanders and Swann!

My copy of Fledgeling by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller arrived in the post yesterday, I had already read it as an ebook, but it does complete my Liaden collection.

Recently the trains have been delayed and they have been particularly bad over the last couple of days. This morning due to cancellation and delay I got to work an hour later than intended.

This evening I have a Science Museum Tour booked. Details to follow later!
mbernardi: (Default)
I've continued to suffer from cold / flu / asthma so I finally visited the Doctor last night. She said I'd probably had a mild viral infection exacerbated by my asthma, I need to increase the use of my inhaler by 4 times and it should resolve. It already seems to have had an impact.

At the end of October Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala was released and I've been playing with it. It seems to be faster starting and is easier to install on SD Cards and USB sticks. The Netbook Remix is also much smaller and easier to install too.

I've been trying to move material from my old 486 running MS-Dos 6.22 to more up to date storage, and have so far managed to recover some of my original digital pictures from a now defunct Casio QV-10, they were very small and grainy but at the time...

I have decided to reduce my book buying. This is because I was unable to pay off all my credit card bills for the last two months, a large chunk of which were Amazon and Forbidden Planet. Since the 6th October I have only bought 3 books, not including ebooks or books ordered prior to this point. This doesn't mean I haven't got anything to read as I do have a large too be read pile. This has been successful as I was able to pay off all my credit card bill this month.

Last Thursday I had my yearly appraisal, which boiled down to "must improve performance" ;-(
This was followed by going to The Hawth theatre to see Fascinating Aida which was great, for those who haven't heard them they, are a bit like a female version of Flanders and Swann!

My copy of Fledgeling by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller arrived in the post yesterday, I had already read it as an ebook, but it does complete my Liaden collection.

Recently the trains have been delayed and they have been particularly bad over the last couple of days. This morning due to cancellation and delay I got to work an hour later than intended.

This evening I have a Science Museum Tour books. Details to follow later!
mbernardi: (Default)
For the last 3 weeks or so I've either been suffering from flu or allergies. Symptoms are dripping / blocked nose, sneezing, cough, itchy eyes, occasional mild headache. Not all of these occurring at the same time.

Last Friday I went to the Peacock Theatre to see Cirkus Cirkor which combine traditional circus skill, with stories involving the human body, in a very surreal way. The pre-show warm up including cast going around the theatre, one of them talked to me. In addition two paintings of a crossed out phone and a crossed out camera were passed around the audience to remind patrons what not to do.

Last Wednesday was the monthly Lates at the Science Museum. Had a spicy chicken and noodles for dinner and then then I got to the museum at 6:20 and the queue hadn't quite got to the end of the building. Before doors opened the queue had snaked to the end of the block! I asked one of the staff and they said there are usually 3-4000 people in the building!

Despite the evening lasting over 3 hours and each talk only lasting 30 minutes, I've never managed to to get to more then two programmed items a night, this time was no exception. First I squeezed in to listen to "A History of Sex Toys" sponsored by Ann Summers which skipped over the first 2000 years with minimal details, to focus on the last 20 years where things changed...

I then managed to catch "Dance, Hormones and Sexual Selection" where research indicated that men with the highest testosterone / symmetrical body shapes were preferred partners, from their dance moves alone (ie actual body shape changed to animation or blurred)

To finish off I sped through the Wallace and Gromit exhibition again, as it closes tomorrow. I left fairly early just after 9 and got home by 10:40.
mbernardi: (Default)
For the last 3 weeks or so I've either been suffering from flu or allergies. Symptoms are dripping / blocked nose, sneezing, cough, itchy eyes, occasional mild headache. Not all of these occurring at the same time.

Last Friday I went to the Peacock Theatre to see Cirkus Cirkor which combine traditional circus skill, with stories involving the human body, in a very surreal way. The pre-show warm up including cast going around the theatre, one of them talked to me. In addition two paintings of a crossed out phone and a crossed out camera were passed around the audience to remind patrons what not to do.

Last Wednesday was the monthly Lates at the Science Museum. Had a spicy chicken and noodles for dinner and then then I got to the museum at 6:20 and the queue hadn't quite got to the end of the building. Before doors opened the queue had snaked to the end of the block! I asked one of the staff and they said there are usually 3-4000 people in the building!

Despite the evening lasting over 3 hours and each talk only lasting 30 minutes, I've never managed to to get to more then two programmed items a night, this time was no exception. First I squeezed in to listen to "A History of Sex Toys" sponsored by Ann Summers which skipped over the first 2000 years with minimal details, to focus on the last 20 years where things changed...

I then managed to catch "Dance, Hormones and Sexual Selection" where research indicated that men with the highest testosterone / symmetrical body shapes were preferred partners, from their dance moves alone (ie actual body shape changed to animation or blurred)

To finish off I sped through the Wallace and Gromit exhibition again, as it closes tomorrow. I left fairly early just after 9 and got home by 10:40.

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