Thursday 31 January 2002

my eyes are dim, i cannot see

This is from the (very lengthy and convoluted) guide to our new company eye plan. According to this, I think it's safe to say that absolutely no one is entitled to coverage.

The following rules apply:

A) SPECTACLES ARE NOT REQUIRED / NO CHANGE IN CURRENT PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED. Self explanatory and therefore, no requirement for the employer to pay for spectacles.

B) SPECTACLES ARE REQUIRED FOR GENERAL USE. In this instance, the patient requires (or currently wears) spectacles for general, everyday distance or reading requirements. Should this patient use a VDU as part of their job, then it is highly likely that they would continue to wear their spectacles whilst performing this task. In other words, they wear spectacles because they require them for duties other than just VDU work. Under current legislation, the employer would not be expected to pay for general purpose spectacles, as there is no element of the prescription directly attributable to VDU use.

C) SPECTACLES ARE REQUIRED FOR GENERAL USE, INCORPORATING A SPECIAL PRESCRIPTION FOR VDU USE. Either the patient is assessed as having a particular requirement for single vision spectacles for the middle distance range necessary for VDU work, or the patent may already wear spectacles but now requires specific help for this intermediate VDU distance. In either case the employer is only liable to pay the cost of a basic single vision appliance which covers the VDU requirement,

The Corrective Spectacle Voucher will fully meet this requirement.

D) SPECTACLES ARE REQUIRED SOLELY FOR VDU USE. In this instance, the patient does not need to wear spectacles for general purposes but does need them to work at the VDU workstation. The simple rule of thumb being that the employee should be able to leave their VDU spectacles at their workstation at the end of the day and not require them for any other purpose. The employer is required to pay for single vision spectacles under the VDU legislation.

The Corrective Spectacle Voucher will fully meet this requirement.

E) SPECTACLES ARE NEEDED FOR HEALTH & SAFETY PURPOSES. In this case, the patient requires 'safety spectacles'.

So if I can prove that I only need glasses to see my screen and for some inexplicable reason don't need them for any other purpose, I can get a voucher towards new glasses. Fabulous. I must find me a crooked optician willing to put "D" on my form.
something for everyone

Do you like trains? Do you like naked women? Have I got a CD-ROM for you! Yes, you too can own Canadian Railbabes 2. I dunno if you need to see part 1 to understand the plot, though.
this week, i will be mostly...

...a lion! Meow and purrrrrrrrrrrrr, I say. Waste valuable company time by taking the Office Flirt Test. We discovered that the analysis is done by how you answer the last four questions, but what the hell. It kept us busy and off the streets for at least 3 minutes.

Wednesday 30 January 2002

it's almost as exciting as this old house

I just came across an old page I had put together for people back home. It's a bunch of "before and after" photos of my flat, which will probably just bore the pants off you. Nevertheless, you can see the photos here. It's almost like coming over to visit me, and a hell of a lot cheaper.
who knew?

I discovered that people can get to this page via this site. It seems that these people send a bot to scan through blogs and any sites that are linked to the blogs it finds. Weird, eh?

I still haven't come up with a good domain or page name yet. I'm finding myself looking at words and phrases I come across and wondering if they'd make good names. (That's from an orange juice container - you say "no bits" here instead of "pulp free") Damn, that's already taken. Nope, taken. Oh my good god, I cannot believe that and are taken. It's very annoying that loads of domain names are gone and yet if you try to see the web sites, all you see are messages about how there's no web site yet. I mean come on - there should be a rule that you lose the domain name if no site is there after a certain amount of time. That's how things would work if I ruled the world. Bah.

Monday 28 January 2002


Popup ads on this page are no more. They have ceased to be. They're bleedin' demised. Joined the choir invisible. Gone to meet their maker. Let's just say that my server forces me to use either popups or a big ugly ass banner on the top of each page. I opted for the ugly ass banner. That's all I'm gonna say. Hee.

I didn't come up with a good site or domain name, but I did have one idea. If I ever become either a stripper or a drag queen (things could go either way, really) in Montreal, I'm going to use the name "Poutine Dion". I bet somebody already came up with that idea, though.

Sunday 27 January 2002

pop goes the web page

If you're like me (and who wouldn't want to be like me?), you're probably annoyed by all those popup ads you get when you surf porn sites illegal mp3 sites personal web pages like this one. Someone suggested this nifty little program to me, although use it at your own risk - I've not tried it yet. It supposedly gets rid of those annoying popup ads and other atrocities when you're looking at sites on a crappy free server like this one.

Otherwise, please continue to enjoy this site and all its popup goodness.

Since a few people have put a link to my page from theirs, I think I should probably give this page a name. Although I have to admit, the "Lisa, Sex Goddess" link on Bill's page seems to have generated all sorts of interest. Sadly, those people will be disappointed to find it's just another plonker with a web page and there is no sex goddess to be found. Awww. It sucks to be you.

I am still trying to come up with a domain name as well. And a name for my iPAQ. You really don't want to hear the ones I came up with so far.

Suggestions on a postcard, please.
feelin' groovy

Ah, I feel all virtuous now because I've been to the gym on a Sunday. I've pumped iron and sweated all over various machines. Me strong! Me lift stuff! *grunt, scratch*

Of course then we went to the pub afterwards whereupon I ate a big baguette and shared a bowl of chips with my mates. I had it with a diet Coke. Shut up.

In my never ending quest to do something interesting, meet people, and get fit, I've decided to get back into dance classes. I studied dance (contemporary - none of that poncy ballet crap) for several years until I started university. I miss it and thought I'd take it up again. I've always loved groups like Carbone 14 and although I know I'm not exactly going to be able to get to that calibre, I still want to give it a try. I'm going to a trial session at the Cambridge University Contemporary Dance Workshop this week. Get out yer legwarmers!

Saturday 26 January 2002

ah, grand

So now David has me all paranoid about this evil stomach flu that's sweeping through Britain. Should I let Tony come visit me from Newcastle? It's on the list of diseased cities with hurling people - gaaaah! I love how the BBC describes the symptoms as feeling fabulous one minute, then without warning, yakking up a lung for the next 24-36 hours. So not only does this flu cause you to vomit violently, it comes without warning. EX-cellent.

On a non-vomiting related note, dinner tonight was pretty good. You don't get a lot of choices, but it's a good concept if you're in a larger group. We shared a bunch of dishes (none of them terribly unique, but tasty nonetheless) and had a fun time stuffing ourselves and guzzling wine. One of the blokes at dinner was Scottish. I've always liked Scottish people but now I think they are absolutely brilliant, based on one revelation from this evening - Scottish people understand what it's like to have English people mock their accents and they don't find my accent annoying. In fact, the Scottish man said that he thought my accent sounded a bit like his. Bless.

When I win a million pounds, I'm going to buy a house in Skye.

A very happy Burns Night to you all. Don't ask what's in the haggis.

Thursday 24 January 2002

that's quite a deal

I was just going through my British Airways air miles account and have come to an important realisation - BA air mile plans suck. I got 1,776 points from my flight to and from Toronto over Christmas. It will cost 40,000 points to fly home on air miles alone. This means I will have to take 22 and 1/2 return flights home before I will get a freebie. Somehow, this doesn't seem like such a fabulous deal. I fly home once a year. By the time I get my free flight, I'll be too old to care. It's a bit odd because I remember the good old days of Canadian Airlines and their points plan. I got something like 8,000 points for a return flight to the UK and a free flight would cost me 40,000. Now that makes sense. At this rate, it's going to take three flights to Toronto to get a free flight to Manchester from British Airways, for feck's sake. What pants.
you have been eaten by a grue

That subject line has no significance other than the fact that it makes me giggle. I think it would look great on a t-shirt, too.

A few mates and I are off to a Chinese restaurant just outside of Cambridge tomorrow night. It's interesting in that you pay a fixed fee (£15) for all you can eat. Unlike those typical godawful Chinese buffets, you order off the menu and they bring as many dishes as you want to your table cooked fresh! I seem to remember that there was a place in Montreal that did something similar (Piment Rouge?), and I think this is a fabulous idea. Now here's the best part - if you "waste" a dish (order and not eat any of it) they penalise you £5 per dish! That's brilliant! I don't think this will be a problem tomorrow night. My friends are big eaters.

British joke alert: I was getting a sandwich today from the shop across from work and was reading the menu. I glanced at it quickly and could have sworn they had one filling available called "Mexican Minge". Upon closer inspection, it actually said "Mexican Mince" which makes a lot more sense. Hee. I think I need more sleep.

Jack agrees with my doctor and came to the conclusion that I am indeed psychotic. Everyone agrees that I'm dizzy.

Wednesday 23 January 2002


Let me start this off by explaining the medical system here in the UK (in 50 words or less). You move, you register at your local health centre (it must be within a certain distance from your house), and you're assigned a doctor. Not a lot of choice there as you can see. I was fairly happy with my doctor - until today. I went to see her because for the past week, I've been really lightheaded and dizzy. When I stand up, I lose my balance. A few days ago when I was riding my bike, I thought I was going to faint when I came to a stop at a red light. This is not good. So I go to the doctor's and she comes to the conclusion that I should wait it out another week and see what happens. Okayyyy, fair enough. Furthermore, she gives me a prescription for something called Prochlorperazine if I feel the need to take something. She said it's for balance problems and that there are no side effects. I come home and look it up on the trusty net. Several sites agree: it's a drug used to combat nausea (e.g. for chemotherapy patients) and it's also used as an antipsychotic. To cap it all, I found this: "Dizziness is likely to occur when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall." FABULOUS. Maybe she misunderstood and thought that I went in *wanting* to be dizzy and prescribed this drug. Maybe she thinks I'm psychotic. I think I need to find a new doctor.
oh dear

I've just discovered that I'm wearing my knickers inside out. I really must put my contacts in before getting dressed in the morning.

Tuesday 22 January 2002

my microwave scares me

I was nuking all sorts of things when I was making dinner tonight. This is what you do when you get a freezer - you make a shitload of stuff on weekends, chuck it all in Ziplock baggies and freeze it. So I was microwaving a few lovely baggies of curry when I noticed that it was taking a very long time to get my food sort of lukewarm. The microwave itself was getting really warm, but the food wasn't. I turned the power on again and then...nothing. Ack. Has it been emitting all sorts of evil carcinogenic rays in my kitchen without heating my food? Should I be wearing a big lead suit the next time I use it? Sod that, I'm using the oven. Either that, or I'm eating nothing but toasties and cold cereal from now on.

Dean's text messages make me snort tea out my nose. Plus, it's all the more hilarious knowing that he's dyed his hair the colour of Vimto. What on earth were you thinking?!

I knew it was going to be a long day at work today when this dialogue box came up when I was transferring files. Now that's quite a wait.

Needless to say, it was a rather dull day.

Monday 21 January 2002

hi, i'm a geek

Mmmm...laminated ID cards (note the Dilbert calendar in the background). Somone had the bright idea that we all need to be easily identified around the office. Otherwise, god knows what kind of riffraff will get in - they might get mistaken for programmers (har har). Anyway, now we have to attach these badges to ourselves. Not like we have any security guards or anyone who actually CHECKS these badges, mind you. It's mad, I tell you. Maaaaaaaad.

I have just discovered AvantGo. Yeah, I know - I am like *so* behind. Anyway, I'm all excited because I can read The Guardian and get CBC news on my pocket PC! Train rides will never be boring again! I like this thing called "technology". Mmmmm.

Does anyone know when ER starts in this flipping country? Gah! It's January, for crying out loud. No, I don't have E4 so don't even suggest it.

Sunday 20 January 2002

Why the "£$%!%^ aren't changes I make to the CSS showing up on this page? GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Wot a lovely day! I think I'll...stay inside and drink tea. I admit, it is rather nice to spend a winter bitching about rain rather than spending a winter bitching about
-25C wind chill factors and blizzards. I love the fact that I can ride my bike into work every day year round, but it is absolutely miserable peddling to work in the pouring rain. What's worse are those little spitty showers we often get, where it feels like someone's sitting on my handle bars spraying me with a plant mister. It's no fun arriving to work damp with no hand dryers to be found in any of the toilets. Yes, I have waterproofs. No, they don't really keep you entirely dry.

I've got to start doing more reading on Greece - I've barely skimmed my Rough Guide. Tony's been there a few times before, but I've no idea what I want to see or do. It's not going to be a lazing about the beach kind of holiday (it'll be too chilly in April), and I'd prefer to do something off the beaten path in addition to the usual tourist hotspots. Any suggestions?

Saturday 19 January 2002

Ah, that's better. Style sheets are oh so tidy.

Last night was fun - many pubs and Chinese food. This morning was not so fun - a delivery showed up at 7.50 and I felt like someone had been Riverdancing on my head throughout the night. The delivery bloke said, "Ah, and you thought you'd get to have a lie in on a Saturday! Heh!". I keep saying to myself that I'm getting too old for this sort of thing, but then I go out and do it again. It really was fabulous to have a night of good fun, though. We made our deadline (although we may have to beat one of our workmates with a wet cod on Monday for being such a twonk), Heather handed in her PhD thesis, and a good time was had by all. I may actually leave the house tomorrow. Oooh ahhh.
How exciting - it's a whole new look for this little page. I'm all agog! Actually, it's just a lot easier to update my page using this handy program, plus now you can leave comments for me by clicking on the Comments link below each entry. Click the link in the archives section to the left to read entries previous to this thrilling update.

Right, I'm starving. Time to upload this new page and rustle me up some grub.