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Bits and bobs

♥Dec. 15th, 2015 // 04:22 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1127717.html]

The parents have been and gone. We had a fairly good time, although the weather wasn't terribly nice: at least it was mostly dry. I kept staying up far too late chatting, oops. It was Mike's work Chirstmas do on Monday, so they took me out for a lovely dinner at Deeson's.

I picked up my new glasses yesterday, and have been wearing them since I got home: no headaches, which is always nice, so I think they're ok. I also got a copy of my prescription: R -1.25, -2.0, 20; L -0.75, -3.0, 160 (was R: -0.5, -2.0, 25; L: -0.5, -2.75, 155, so the change is more eyesight and less astigmatism than I'd thought).

The splashback for behind the Aga arrived, so the decorator came back and fitted it (eventually: it was a tight fit!) and finished off the painting. It looks very nice, now that it's all done, so we're pleased with it. I must leave him some good feedback on MyBuilder: we'd definitely use him again.

I had a rather depressing riding lesson on Tuesday: it should have been Mike's turn to ride GB, but I've been a bit worried about his bad leg (I jumped on him for a quick fifteen minute ride on Monday, and he was fine until I cantered on the bad leg after which my very non-horsey mother could see that his walk wasn't right) so I rode him instead. Our instructor was quite pleased that we'd not stuck to the usual pattern because she'd been struggling to think of enough things that he was still able to do with Mike riding to fill 45 minutes. We did half an hour, and decided that he probably can't have lessons with me riding either (I might go back to just doing fifteen minutes, which we did for a little while last winter, but he's worse this year than he was then so it may not work). Just have to play it by ear, I guess. If I can get him through the winter, he should perk up again in spring, but it's still incredibly mild here (nothing below 8C on the seven day, 24 hour forecast!) so I'm very worried about what will happen if we have a bad January and/or February as they've been forecasting.

This morning, I had Pilates (we did Pilates circuit training, which was fun but a bit too (ie, at all) sweaty for my tastes), and this afternoon I've been boxing up the presents that need posting ready for Mike to take them to the Post Office tomorrow. I've also put the Christmas tree up, and now I'm really quite knackered.

I have a small pile of misc consumer electronics that are looking for a new homes (perfectly fine if annoyingly controlled microwave, digital radio that probably just needs a new power cable, Dyson that works but not as well as it should so probably needs a thorough service). Do charities take electrical goods any more? Any other ideas?
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Storage boxes

♥Jan. 20th, 2014 // 06:12 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/951630.html]

I've finally convinced Mike to take the plunge and rip out the thirty-year-old repurposed kitchen cupboards in our back store room, which are in incredibly inefficient use of the space in such a small room, and replace them with open shelves, where hopefully we can store even more stuff in a much more organised way.

As part of that, and spurred on by the small, nibbled-looking hole I found in the bottom of a bag of bird peanuts yesterday, I want to get the vast quantities of bird food out of plastic bags and into something that's tidier, more meece-proof and easier to take small amounts out of without it spilling on the floor.

I was doing an Ikea order for shelves anyway, and I though that the stackable SORTERA Waste sorting bin with lid would be ideal, but annoyingly they're a Marketplace items, so not available to buy online. Our nearest Ikea is all the way over in Civilisation, on the other side of the Thames, and it's really not worth a drive up there to buy four boxes unless we also need a Costco trip, which we don't.

Has anyone seen anything similar to these elsewhere?


I had a look at Really Useful, but they only seem to have the ones where the whole, vertical front comes out, which would lead to an amusing but ultimately irritating avalanche of bird seed.

(Speaking of meeces, I've been very productive over the last few days in the barn: sightings have been increasing, and we went in the other day to find the box of treats surrounded by little black blobs (lid is now firmly on the box), and Jodie's been increasingly interested in one particular corner of the barn, which she couldn't get to very well and which, ominously, contained the sacks of GB's food. I pulled everything out, and found that the bottom sack had been torn open and half the contents spread on the floor under the pallet. It's now all been swept up, and I'll keep an eye on it, but I'm wondering if we need to start using the metal feed bin left from when TWWOTV was here. I've not been doing as it's in the tack room (which was built around it: it won't come out), and thus less convenient, but we might have to. As I was sweeping, also found lots of little piles of bits of wood, next to small holes in the bottom of the barn sides: they've obviously been working away at making ways in, as they were in places that I swept before we moved the horses here. Not sure what the solution to that is, possibly creosote in the summer when the barn's mostly empty of hay.)
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Find me a mail client dot com

♥Jan. 19th, 2014 // 07:27 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/951013.html]

(I don't know what that plant was earlier, but my hands and arms are still unpleasantly sore and tingly. Bah.)

So, Mike did some digging around and found an article that suggested that Mail could be sped up by disabling the option in Gmail to make All Mail available on IMAP. I've tried it out (Mail is now, um, apparently re-downloading everything, again.), but am mostly grateful for the fact that I've now learnt that Mail's behaviour on the delete key has changed: it used to put deleted items into a folder label (sigh) called "Deleted Messages", but now puts them into Gmail's Trash folder, which autodeletes after thirty days. This may be useful information for other people, I can't be the only person who doesn't actually want to delete the trash automagically.

I've now tried / looked at Sparrow (seemed lovely, even if it is dying, until I realised that it's not possible to turn off conversations) and Mailplane (looks like it's just a cut down Safari-type-thing, that only opens the gmail web interface. In which case, why not use the...?). I've also had Thunderbird suggested; although I'm a bit wary, as it was shite when I last used it (shortly after it came out), I suspect that it *could* do exactly what I want, if I were to spend six hours configuring it.

In case anyone has any better suggestions, here's a list of things I want:
- a screen composed of three parts: a list of folders, a list of emails (from, subject, date, maybe other things like attachments) in chronological order with the newest at the bottom, a preview pane
- the ability to have multiple email accounts accessible, with a single inbox and the ability to choose the from address using a drop-down of some sort. Auto-selecting to reply using the same address the email came into, rather than the default, is useful. Some of those multiple accounts will only be used to send mail, and may not even have an incoming mail server, so don't demand one that works
- never ever ever delete an email without my telling it to, even from the trash
- keyboard shortcuts like up arrow and down arrow to scroll through messages, and delete key to move to trash, or somewhere similar (which is never, ever emptied without my explicitly doing it)
- when a message is deleted moved to trash or similar, always move down to the next message in time, not to the nearest unread message
- syncing with gmail in a non-bandwidth-eating way. I have grown used to gmail's spam treatment, and am quite happy to check it once a day or so to make sure there's nothing that shouldn't be in there.

And things I explicitly don't want:
- conversations, or threading, or anything that stops emails appearing in chronological order and being treated as completely separate things when, for example, one moves them from one folder to another. Mail has a behaviour where it highlights emails that it considers to be related to the one you're currently looking at, which is not completely unbearable and occasionally even slightly useful
- deleting any email without being explicitly told to; when updating to a new version, randomly changing setting back to the default of automatically deleting emails without being told to

So, basically, I want the penultimate version of Eudora, or Mail c 5 years ago. Anyone have any suggestions before Mike is driven mad by my whinging?

On, I suppose, the plus side, Feedly (which I've been using since Google RSS Reeder stopped working on my Mac) has now changed the behaviour on the 'click to mark all as read' button so that it only takes a second or so, even on our connection, rather than chugging away for a minute. Which is progress, right?)
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Camera troubles....

♥Nov. 19th, 2013 // 04:59 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/925322.html]

Today, Mike started chopping the wood. Action shot!


I've been noticing that my pictures have got very glarey over the last few days. I mentioned it to Mike, and he suggested that I wipe the lens to see if it just had something on it. Wiping it and breathing on it then polishing seems to have made it worse (spread whatever it was around, maybe?): we took the pooch to the beach this afternoon, and I took comparison photos with my phone and with Mike's. See if you can guess which is which....



After we got back, I tried a cotton bud with some alcohol-based make-up remover on it, and it's still the same. Does anyone have any ideas?

(I'm fairly sure that it's more recent than since Mike replaced the glass on the back, but could there be something in there that just took a while to become a problem? If I rub my nail over the lens, it feels slightly rough in a way that neither the rest of the phone back nor Mike's phone's lens does, which suggests that it's something on the outside.)

Edit: Mike took the back off again so that we could check for a protective film or similar, but we can't find anything. It's fine with the lens cover off, at least. Maybe it's because Mike bought me a dodgy replacement phone back...?
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Google fu fail

♥Jul. 25th, 2013 // 12:48 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/904267.html]

I'd like to create a Word document containing a numeric field that increments every time the file is opened.

I must be missing something, but all I'm finding online are guides based on Word 2003 that involve page-long macros and editing the register....

Does anyone know how do to do? Surely it must be possible, with some sort of fiddling with field codes? It's possible to create a custom field to be a counter, and to set things like date fields to auto-update on opening, so can I just combine the two?

It's years since I did anything serious in Word, and it was always my weakest of the three!
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If I wanted to buy...

♥May. 28th, 2013 // 06:42 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/901478.html]

... half a dozen cheap cotton dressing gowns...

... a super-king bed with a non-solid wooden headboard and a mattress-level or non-existent footboard, that wasn't the £750-excluding-mattress one from John Lewis or the one in the manky orangey colour from Ikea*, and I wanted to actually see it in a shop...

* Yes, I know, but it's only the fitted sheet and I tend to just have plain ones of those that tone with the rest of the bedding, so I don't think it'd be a problem.

... the time and equipment of some people to move the contents of the flat into the new house...

... a non-gas BBQ with two sections (so that we can just use one if it's just us, or use one for veggie stuff if there are more people) that doesn't appear to be made of tin foil (like this one seems to be...

... where would you suggest that I look?

Also, if anyone has strong views about the relative comfort levels of the Ikea HAGALUND and LYCKSELE sofabeds for sleeping purposes, or the general quality of Indesit freezers, do let me know, hmm?

Why, yes, we have been looking at things for the house over the last few days!
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Traffic update apps

♥May. 1st, 2012 // 05:39 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/871387.html]

(It took me an hour and a half to get home from the yard today, on account of spending a lot of time sitting on the A2 until I'd inched forward far enough to go through the emergency vehicle gate and emerge on a housing estate, after which I sat in the traffic on Eltham High Street caused by all the people who'd done the same thing and, eventually, ended up on the A20 route home. Inevitably, I'd been contemplating the A20 route anyway as I wanted to go to the saddlery: I didn't because I was hungry and wanted to get home....)

Given that I pretty much drive the same route all the time, I rarely use the sat nav as I don't really like it. Getting it out for five minutes at the start of each journey to check traffic seems silly, especially as it's a bit elderly and (today at least - after about twenty minutes I got it out to see if I could see how far the traffic went on for) doesn't actually reliably connect to the traffic servers.

I've just downloaded the Highways Agency traffic app, but I'll have to remember to check it.

What I'd really like is an iPhone app that's similar in function to things like Tube Deluxe, which lets me select tube lines and times of day and gives me an alert when they aren't working. That way, I could just have a blanket "tell me if the A2 is borked between x and y," and go the other way when it is. Does anyone know of such an app?
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