Back to college ... after over a decade away
Posted Last Week
I'm on the train now for my first day (no classes, just an orientation programme).
I have a degree in chemistry, which I've never used (apart from one job which lasted four days). I've been working a decade as a web developer. So now I'm going back to college to do Deaf Studies, learning Irish Sign Language, Deaf history, and interpreting skills. And I'm very very nervous.
Help me rewrite an idiot's dating profile
Posted Dec 28, 2016
Some idiot who doesn't know his own email address has created accounts on a financial services site, a bunch of US theme parks, a couple of US golf courses, and now two or three sites dedicated to dating black women. Apparently none of these services require any form of address confirmation before signing you up to regular emails. And a couple of them let you log in just by following a link from the email. I'm not sure whether to be amused or irritated.
And I might be househunting again in the New Year
Posted Dec 31, 2014
My landlord is selling the house. Don't know who's going to buy, but they might be want it for themselves, and evict me. That'd be annoying.
It'd be a pity if I had to move: I like the place I'm in. It's half a bungalow: front door is me; back door someone else. Both sides have a kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms (I had a look at the other half of the house before moving into my half).
It's nice, quiet, on the edge of town, easy walking distance to anywhere. And the rooms are fairly large. The hallway is large enough for a computer desk and chair to sit in it without blocking the passageway.
Hopefully the new owners will buy to rent, so I can stay where I am.
I had to tidy the place so the agent could bring viewers in. It's now tidier than it's been for months! And now I have the BBC Radio player, I may be able to keep it that way.
Posted Dec 9, 2014
Reasons I've not been on hootoo much recently:
1. My computer, which was a present from Mal, has decided it doesn't like going online these days. I'll have to get that sorted out.
2. My laptop, which was second hand refurbished from Oxfam, is on its last legs. It has a failing hard drive and the wifi seems to have disappeared.
3. I do have an Andrew tablet, which I won in a raffle, but I don't find it great for writing on.
4. I can do some brief browsing in work, but I know that if I come to hootoo I'll stay for a while, so I don't come at all.
Posted Jul 21, 2014
After work today, I went up to my parents' house and cuddled the cat for twenty minutes or more.
My memories of how we found him are vague. I do remember where it was: a little ball of orange fur under the wall of Charleville Estate, across the road from our house. But I don't remember which of the family found him. It was I who named, him, though. Fancifully, as is my wont. I called him after the Biblical character Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Why not?
Baz was friendly. He liked people. That, I think, was his defining characteristic. When he was a kitten, you could hold him up in the air and he wouldn't stop purring. He liked sitting in laps. And if you picked him up and slung him over your shoulder, he wouldn't object. He liked being petted. He just liked people. During the summer, windows and doors would stand open all day as long as we were home, and Baz knew he was welcome to come and go as he pleased.
My parents were away in Canada recently, and I was in the house to mind the animals. Six ducks needed food and water morning and night. And Baz needed medicine. He had an infection in his cheek, and there was a large wound. It was beginning to clear up, but he still needed an antiseptic cream every morning and a pippette of medicine down his throat morning and night. He didn't like it, of course. No cat would. But he still didn't object. When I dragged him out from under the sofa, he'd resist, holding onto the wooden floorboards as best he could, but he'd never turn on me in any way. When I wrapped him in an old sheet, the better to hold him on my lap as I ministered to his wound and forced the pippette down his throat, I didn't bother wrapping him tightly: I didn't need to. And while he didn't like it, he'd still stay on my lap for a cuddle afterward.
He was improving. The wound on his cheek was beginning to clear up when my parents came home. I'd run out of medicine, and the vet had said that was okay.
Yesterday, my mother sent me a text in which she mentioned "Baz alive, but far from kicking". Then, this morning, that he was dying. So I went up to say goodbye.
He was sitting on his sofa: it's small and not particularly comfortable and sits in an awkward corner and I've never seen anyone else use it. He looked up as I came in. He seemed bright and alert, actually, at first. I crouched on the floor and petted him a bit, then sat down beside him. Before long, he'd curled himself up in my lap. He did seem bedraggled, now I came to look at him better. Patches of fur on tail and legs needed grooming. The wound on his cheek looked worse again. And there was a bit of lassitude to him. But he was as friendly as ever.
I just sat and held him for a long while. I had to go (there was a CoderDojo committee meeting I had to be at), but I didn't want to. Eventually, I gently moved him out of my lap, and he did seem perhaps a bit stiffer than usual, or was that my imagination? And I stroked him one last time, said my goodbyes, and left.
I'll miss him.