Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

When things don’t run smoothly…

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

I’m not entirely sure how, but in attempting to add a search box to the top of orangeacid.net I’ve managed to disable the header links and retard my headings. I’d take the time to fix them now, but to be honest I feel like shit, so it will have to wait.

I caught this cold off this girl I was fooling around with. She’s excellent, but she did sort of give me a cold and then got herself a boyfriend before I could return the favor. I swapped my summer duvet for my much denser winter duvet around the same time – imagine waking up with the realization that some large mammal – say, a cow – had keeled over and died on your chest as you slept. Such was the sensation this morning of waking up buried under an avalanche of duck-feathers.

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Selling the Warranties

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

As part if my job as salesman at Comet I have to sell warranties. The total value of the warranties I sell during the week is inputted into my sales matrix. In theory, if I meet my average-sales-per-hour target, and of my total at least 8% is essentials such as cables and tables, and another 5% is made up of warranty sales, I get a per-hour bonus. In reality bonuses are scarce but you do still get a rollicking for missing your targets.

Essentials are easy… “unfortunately the manufacturers don’t include memory cards, Sir, and the supplied cartridges only contain enough ink for fifteen or twenty sheets”… but warranties are a little trickier.

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Quietening my processor

Monday, September 17th, 2007

OK, so the compressed air thing didn’t really work.  The volume of this thing really has to be heard to be believed.  It is possibly even louder than my old base unit which had some sort of beasty extractor fan on the side.

I’m pretty sure that it’s not the PSU fan, because that makes a reasonable humming sound.  But there is the most irritating, high-pitched whirring sound coming from just inside the case.  The fan over the processor is something akin to the head of a small child, so I’m guessing that could be the culprit.

Short of buying a new fan, any suggestions?

Setting the standard

Friday, February 16th, 2007

‘Treat others as you would like to be treated’ – a classic rule that was told to a class of 28 starry-eyed innocents 4 years ago in one of my year’s initial RE lessons. It’s tacky, it’s cheesy, but it’s also a tactful way of saying ‘stop being so conceited you egotistical little fuck’.

But is it always relevant? Two loosely related events today made me consider this.

I have that cold bug that’s going around, on top of some other underlying headache-inducing nastyness, so I have felt pretty under the weather for the past few days. Whilst txting my mother in ‘tutor-time’ (a sort of doss session where you can catch up on work, which is officially described as either ‘a time to socialize with your peers’ or ‘a time for silent work’ depending on the teacher’s mood), my personal tutor decided it would be a good idea to steal my phone. (more…)

Not unhappy, just tired

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Have you ever noticed that when you’re tired, you’re often also unhappy? Or that when you’re unhappy you just want to sleep?

I wake up at 7.30 every weekday morning. I can’t get around that – it is the absolute latest that I can get up and only be very slightly late to school. I probably should go to bed around 10 or 10.30, but in reality I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed – let alone slept- before 11.30. I usually manage to get myself under the covers for about 12.

This works fine for the beginning of the week, ‘cos it means I can get more done at home and am in less of a backlog for the rest of the week. OK, the ‘things’ aren’t done before 12 because I am lazy and disorganized, but it’s still so much easier to sleep when you know that you haven’t got another load of crap to do in the morning. This kinda backfires at the end of the week when I’m practially unconscious, but if you constantly tell yourself that the weekend promises sleep-time, you get on fine.

I’m grouchy recently, and I’m also tired.  And I don’t really have anything in particular to be grouchy about.  Can you remember a time when you were grouchy or felt generally down for no real reason, and were bursting with energy?  This reminds me of a theory that Scott Adams (the Dilbert cartoonist) once proposed on his blog.  He suggests a direct link between tiredness and feeling low.  Check it out.

Some things just don’t get done

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

At the end of the day, as I empty my locker and pack my diary, I decide that once I am home I will concentrate on just perhaps one or two broad tasks before I sleep. Usually I have something specific in mind – installing a new hard-drive, learning more about PHP and finishing my coursework have been recurring themes recently. So why do I never get round to them?

By the time I have walked my girlfriend to her Dad’s office, taken the odd picture and walked home, it is often 6PM or later. When I get home I am cold, tired, suffering from iPod-induced deafness and occasionally in a cold sweat. The last thing I want to do is pour over a book the thickness of my clenched fist, operate on my PC or do school work. There is always that niggling little voice in my head telling me that I don’t have to worry, there are hours to go.

The problem is, it is… how can I say… hampering my productivity. So I have devised myself a little ‘Getting Things Done’ system. It seems to be increasingly effective – OK, so I am writing this blog post as I should be either sleeping or exercising, but you can actually see my carpet, I have practiced guitar for a solid hour, been for a jog and tidied out a cupboard.

I want to share this method of organization, which is based largely around a book that I have never read. I will share it sometime next week, after it has been refined and I can confirm its effectiveness.

If you want to join in my little experiment, you will need the following:

  • A note book, preferably unruled (I am using a slightly-larger-than-a5 blank-paper textile-bound book-thing from WHSmiths. Choose something without a cardboard spine – i.e. something that won’t fall apart within a week)
  • A good pen that you enjoy writing with (avoid cheap, nasty ones – you will resent using them)
  • Some mini post-its
  • A note block (the kind that you put by the phone to scribble things down, but don’t bother buying a pen for, rendering them totally useless and causing great frustration)
  • Tack of your choice (I use UHU white-tack rather than blu-tack because it is more pliable. That and you can get it from Poundland.)

Oh, and be prepared for some GTD geekery.

Update:

You might also want to prepare the following:

  • A couple of fleurescent highlighter pens in different colours (not a prerequisite of my GTD system, but they really do seem to have a positive impact… and they’re very pretty)
  • Some wall space for sticking notes to (I moved an A1-sized poster onto my ceiling and am using that space currently)

As an irellevant aside, if you’re into this kind of thing you may be interested to know that Partners are selling A1-sized whiteboards at stupid prices – you can get the board itself plus extra hooks and loops for wall-hanging and pens of your choice – black and red FTW – for less than £15.