28th November 2007

Things wot I have done recently

Or, over the past week or so. Things seem to have piled up a bit recently...

On Wednesday last week I got the exciting package from Matt, the marketing person who offered me a free trial Skype phone from 3 - me, and the rest of the world who has a blog or journal, seemingly. I said yes, thinking mostly that I'd be able to place some Skype-to-Skype calls while I'm off in NYC next week (you get a pair of handsets with this trial) and so it would be a free way of keeping in touch with the lovely Richard during my trip.

In fact it turns out that the handset will not allow you to use it for Skype-ing in the US, so I'd have to get to a computer or somesuch to call Richard fee-free. Ah well. Apart from that, though - well, it's a pretty little phone, very elegant and quite easy to use in many ways - texting is just as normal, the setup was easy enough whether or not you had to sign up to Skype or already had an id, and (though I've not tried it) there seem to be some bonuses like the ability to use Google for searches also for free.

I can't say I'm all that impressed with it overall, despite the pretty. That's probably partly because I haven't used it all that much and so haven't got used to a bunch of stuff to do with it, but a) the signal in my house is always rubbish, as it is in my office, even for an ordinary signal let alone a data signal. b) It's just not as nice as my Treo (which admittedly is goddamn nice) - I keep expecting it to have a touch screen and I miss the proper keyboard on the Treo (though I got used to predictive texting again very quickly - I'd forgotten quite how easy that is anyway). Expect I'll give it more of a go over the next few weeks, but hey ho, at the moment I'll not be that disappointed to send it back.

One of the reasons why I didn't just lock myself away to play with it all that evening (fnar) is because R and I were off to watch Beowulf on't big screen. Wow! Extremely silly and well worth it. There were several laugh-out-loud moments (Angelina Jolie walking over the surface of a lake in a cavern, clad only in thin gold with extra-improbable high-heels, seemed to have everyone bursting out in laughter, perhaps surprisingly). There were some great action sequences and some moving bits - I felt pretty sorry for Grendel, actually - and overall I was glad I went. It did all look too much like a video game, mind, which worked pretty well for some bits but caused more laughter-inducing moments when they went round riding extremely silly-looking horses!

What else? On Thursday night there was a party to celebrate the opening of a new extension of the Pitt Rivers Museum (I'm a Friend of the museum, ever since I went to a talk there by Phillip Pullman and Penelope Lively some years ago). The party was very well-attended, with lots of people circulating in and out of the cabinets of curiosities that are such a feature. I bumped unexpectedly into Pearl from work, and into Antonia and boyfriend - very nice to see them - but then had to dash off to B&Q unknowing whether it closed at 8 pm or later on a Thursday. I wish I could have stayed longer, cos I only stayed for the speeches rather than the wandering along, but the extension does look smashing and worth celebrating. (I don't think you'll see it if you go as an ordinary punter - it's seemingly for admin staff and to house the anthopology department library, I think.)

B&Q was perfectly tolerable and sold me what I was looking for, and allowed me to return a previous thing I'd made a bit of a guess at, and it didn't close too early (9 pm on a Thursday, so it seems). The thing I was buying was a pull-cord lightswitch, so I'd already decided to leave off installing that until the morning's light, but there were plenty of other things to do that evening, namely watch the latest Heroes & put on the laundry. Oh, and the small matter of packing for the MCR, cake-making-equipment and all!

Friday morning was a bit epic though. I tried to change the light-pull and it turned out I'd bought the wrong size; but it also turned out that the old one was perfectly fucntional, once I'd taken it completely to bits and shaken all the dust out of it. And then, putting it back in, I was a bit alarmed to see that despite having switched off the fuse that claimed to control the upstairs light, the light started to light up... So I was rather more careful as I finished off, though I ended up unscathed and with a working switch...

Then I popped in to Boots on the way to work, and ended up also popping in to the doctor's to make an appointment for later that day (cystitis) - all quite achievementfull for me, for before 9:30 am. Ah me, what a simple life I lead don'tcher know.

And then it was the MCR! Separate posts already exist on this, but yay, very cool. I still have to finish a couple of photocomic pages, and then tweak Jason's page once he sends it me, but it was great to sit down and write and play with Comic Life and hang out with chums and all o' that. Good food too.

Much quieter since then - the only thing to report really is the purchase of Brave New Words - a dictionary of science fiction, but this is getting and that's a whole 'nother rant...