baratron: (boots)
I have many photos of my trip to the US to post, when I get A Round Tuit. They are crappy mobile phone pictures, but I cannot be bothered to carry a real camera with me any more. I am a terrible photographer with the best equipment in the world, and I'm more interested in recording memories than attempting to take good shots.

Currently I am worrying about being stranded in New York tomorrow once Delta drop me off there.

It turns out that Aer Lingus are morons. I've had several "incidents" with them this trip and am never flying with them again, but in the meantime they are supposed to be getting me home to London tomorrow.Read more... )

Argh

Feb. 19th, 2014 11:09 am
baratron: (goggles)

I forgot it was half-term, and now I'm on the train next to a ridiculously high-pitched shrieking small child. It's making no attempt to moderate its volume or pitch, and all its attached adult is doing is telling it off and sighing, rather than explaining how to behave :/
I'd move if I could, but I can't because the aisles aren't wide enough.

baratron: (goggles)

No, woman with a pushchair and no baby in sight, you DON'T get to make me feel guilty for being in the Priority Wheelchair Space. "That thing" is already as pushed over as it goes,
and I'm well within the blue lines. It's not my fault if your pushchair doesn't fold.

baratron: (flasks)
You know what makes me really fuckin' angry? People who boast that they don't take any medications that are made in a lab. As I said to one of these loons today, you have no idea how lucky you are to have the CHOICE not to take prescription drugs. I personally have the choice of taking prescription drugs or dying.

I was explaining to some people who don't know me well about the delights of chronotherapy, and why today I got up at 2 am and will remain up until at least 2 pm. And said people were trying to convince me that I should try drinking alcohol or smoking pot for my sleep problems. Because, yeah, that's a bloody great idea for someone on several medications which say not to mix it with alcohol, and who as a result of chronic fatigue syndrome has no tolerance for it at all (as in a few sips of something alcoholic puts me under the table and feeling awful). And who is extremely asthmatic and starts retching and puking when even vaguely near pot smoke.

Oh yeah, and apparently "weed won't cause variable effects with other medications". I'm on carbamazepine, which is a cytochrome P450 inducer, and that is affected by somewhere between half and two-thirds of all other medications, including natural remedies. The chemicals in pot, of which there are many, could make me need to increase or decrease the dosage of any or all of my meds. If I could find academic papers stating which particular biochemical pathways are affected by it, then I might consider it. But the fact it's illegal means there is insufficient information about drug interactions. The other problem with it being illegal is you can never be certain what dose you're getting. I prefer drugs where the dosage is known.

*stab stab stab*

In other news, I have a new wheelchair. It's a new-to-me wheelchair rather than new. It was made in 1998. However, it is built like a fricking TANK. It is higher off the ground than my old one, "for a more important appearance on the road"(*) and also very, very red. I'll link you to the eBay auction for now because I lack spoons to take my own photos. There's also more pictures in this brochure, although mine doesn't have the riser or tilt functions, not least of all because I don't need them.

(*) Engrish phrase from the Di Biasi tricycle catalogue, circa 5 years ago.
baratron: (Skyrim)
WTF? According to IMDB, the UK isn't getting Wreck-It Ralph until 15th February 2013. That is just ridiculous. The Disney official site says 8th February 2013, but that's scarcely an improvement. Does Disney not realise that in this day and age, people have friends all over the world? Three months is a long time to wait.

In other news, I have assumed that my weird illness last week was down to side-effects from increasing my dose of venlafaxine. Everything that was wrong was a thing mentioned on the leaflet. If I'm not all the way better next week, I'll worry about it then.

Sutton Hospital have sent me an absolutely ridiculous packet of questionnaires that need to be filled in and taken to my appointment on 11th December. Seriously - I haven't counted the sheets, but we're talking at least 15 sheets of A4 paper. Do they not realise I have chronic fatigue? Damn them.

Also, my NaNoWriMo "novel" has reached the fabled and mythical 50,000 words status. I shall submit it for checking in a few days. The story is approximately half-finished, so I need some other word counter software to plot a little graph to show how I'm doing relative to the idea of N words per day. I'm absolutely sure I could do this in OpenOffice or Excel, but I like the public-ness of the NaNoWriMo site. Anyone know of an alternative that exists all year round?
baratron: (angry)
Look what happened in the middle of this thread!

Honestly, I could weep, but not for myself - I've had decades to get used to misogyny in geek venues. No - I'd be weeping for all the 14 year old girls on the forum who have to put up with constant dick & rape jokes (not least of all, people referring to "being raped" when they are killed in the game by an overpowered enemy), and then are told that their gender doesn't even matter.

Oh yes, and in case it isn't obvious - the last thing that'll help here is anyone I know registering a new account and rushing to my defense. I don't need defending from idiots!

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

baratron: (flasks)
Here is a news article which is worth propagating to all UK people (especially those who live in south London): Consumers are being warned to check packs of Nurofen Plus after it emerged that thousands could mistakenly contain antipsychotic drugs.

I don't take it myself since I'm not allowed NSAIDs, but I guess that ibuprofen plus codeine is a fairly common medication amongst menstruating women and people with chronic pain conditions.

The news article says that the affected packs have 32 tablets in, are in batches numbered 13JJ, 57JJ and 49JJ, and that Seroquel tablets have gold and black packaging and are larger in comparison to Nurofen Plus tablets. If you have accidental Seroquel then return the packet to the pharmacy where you bought it and report it to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's defective medicines report centre on 020 3080 6574.
baratron: (bi_pride)
This is not the serious post I was going to make about the British Library. That is still to come. This is ranting.

So, I was on my way out of the Library yesterday at 7.55pm when the building shut, and this guy got into the lift with me and started spouting off homophobic abuse. Of course it's triggery )
baratron: (introspection)
Argh! Someone just rang the home phone. It's 11.20 pm, an unreasonable time for prospective students or businesses to be calling. It's not an unreasonable time to phone me for a chat, but most of our friends don't even have our home number. We don't give it out because you have to pay for caller display on landlines, and I don't like answering the phone without knowing who it is first. Anyone I know well would call or text my mobile. Calls this late at night on the home phone must mean death or serious injury to family...

Except whoever it was rang off by the time I got downstairs to answer it (5 rings, not THAT long). It's almost certainly a wrong number - I don't recognise it. Someone drunkenly trying to call a friend for a lift or something like that. And now my heart is thumping fit to burst and I'm trying to come down off the adrenaline jag. I'd have at least liked to know for certain that it was a wrong number and not some emergency call from a phone box.
baratron: (Buttercup)
My neighbour, at business address 242A, is trying to change energy supplier from EDF to Scottish Power.
I, at residential address 242, am not trying to change energy supplier.
EDF think that I am and that they're not. And I have to get this sorted out a.s.a.p. before we get cut off (and they get billed twice).
Argh!

How difficult is it to understand the difference between 242 and 242A?
baratron: (corrosive)
Today I have been mostly dead. Have had the kind of period pain where I'm being held together by three different painkillers, one of which is prescription-only. The good news is that, being period pain, it'll be mostly gone by tomorrow and completely gone by Tuesday. Yay.

I have also been working on the carbohydrate coursework from hell. You know, the one that was due in on 15th January? I finally have enough brain to tackle it! Despite being in pain! It's amazing. Go sunshine, smite that SAD!

What kind of moron underlines sentences in a library book using ballpoint pen without a ruler? The lines have random thickness and in some places cross right through the words. The person pressed so hard that the pen has scored the page to the extent you can see bobbled lines on the reverse side. I tend to get annoyed when people underline stuff in library books in pencil - I think that if you want to go round underlining things then either buy the book yourself, or photocopy the important pages. (It's true that pencil rubs out, but sometimes people press too hard with their pencil. And sometimes when you rub out the pencil you also rub out some of the book's ink). But ballpoint pen? That's just... vandalism!

FUCK

Mar. 6th, 2009 09:08 pm
baratron: (angry)
Don't read this post if you are offended by swearing, because I am too upset to find politer language.

I had a fucking horrible experience this evening. I ran out of Efexor yesterday. Having been for once in my life organised, I had handed in the repeat prescription request on Monday night/Tuesday morning, and therefore expected there to be Efexor waiting for me at the pharmacy today.

HOWEVER. Allegedly, some "doctor" decided in her infinite wisdom that I couldn't have any more Efexor, even though I still had one repeat left before a review was due, because I hadn't had my blood pressure checked in a while. Never mind that I've been on it for, like, 10 years at this point, and if it was going to affect my blood pressure we'd have known that by now. Never mind that it is a drug that you must NEVER stop taking cold turkey because your head will explode. (Look up venlafaxine withdrawal syndrome sometime. It isn't pretty.)

So, this alleged doctor issued the prescription for everything else except Efexor, WITHOUT TELLING ME. There was a post-it note on the prescription to tell me I needed to have my blood pressure checked before more could be issued. At 5.58pm I had to cycle round to the surgery and bang on the door to get them to sort it out. It gets worse. )

bak 2 skool

Oct. 1st, 2008 02:55 am
baratron: (rainbow chemistry geek)
For anyone who's behind with my journal: So, this academic year I am going to Birkbeck College to do a Graduate Diploma in Chemistry. You can take this over one year or two, but what I'm doing is taking all of the Final Year undergraduate courses along with the current UGs. This mostly works, as most of the modules I'd want to do are being offered this year.

Yesterday was my first official evening at college – a lecture on Transition Metal chemistry. People online asked me how it went and my only reply was "Still processing". I think there were 25 people in the class – a mixture of 3rd and 4th years plus one other Graduate Diploma person. The lecture was revision of the material covered in their 2nd year class, and it was strange. Chemistry stuff. )

But I am really rather annoyed with some of the other students. Birkbeck is a college for "mature students" - meaning "aged over 21". I had been hoping it would also carry the other meaning of "mature", but apparently not. So far I have been to college twice – once for the induction evening, and again for the first lecture – and so far I have been asked idiotic questions about my most visible disability twice. In fact the same actual question by two different people! And not only that, it might well be the first time I've ever even heard this idiotic question about my disability!

It is... "Is that yours?", in reference to the walking stick which I am both carrying and using.

What are they expecting me to say? "No, I stole it from my granny"? (That would explain why it is made of fluorescent blue transparent plastic, yes.) Or "No, I'm just carrying it for a friend"? It's such a stupid question that the only way to answer it is with a simple "Yes". But that prompts the further idiotic question "Why do you have it?".

I hate that question. Disability rant. )
baratron: (Buttercup)
Oh, ffs. If I wasn't stressed enough already, I just managed to hit CTRL-D and completely lose my last entry.

Am stressed out of my tiny little mind. Remember how my unconditional offer turned into a conditional offer? Well, that part wasn't a mistake. Birkbeck Registry want me to have either officially finished or withdrawn from the outstanding-since-2004 MPhil before I can start the new course. (This is different from Birkbeck's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, who don't care either way.) Which would've been fine if I'd known that a couple of months ago when I still had enough time to get the thesis done without KILLING MYSELF.

Basically... I have to reformat and reprint my thesis from 2004. It's ~130 pages and severely mangled by Microsoft Word - get it printed out, hard bound, and submitted to the University of London, otherwise I can't start my new university course ON MONDAY. Problem is, my old computer had a feebly small memory, and even splitting the thesis into four files, I couldn't paste the diagrams into the thesis in ye olde days because it took 15 minutes to print out each page that had a graph on. (And most pages have a graph on.) So I originally formatted it by pasting in the diagrams with glue - but I can't find that copy of the thesis. God knows where it is, we've moved house since I produced it. So to print another copy now, I have to open up the graphing program on the screen, take screenshots as the program is too old and too converted-from-Mac to output standard formats like .jpegs or .gifs, paste them into Photoshop Elements, cut out the crap on the screen, re-save as .wmf files, and import into my Word document. And I have literally megabytes of data and I'm not sure in all cases which files I want to use.

And my gall bladder hurts, and this level of stress DEMANDS CHOCOLATE, which I can't eat due to the PAIN. And I have work-for-money all this week, and argh argh argh.
baratron: (boots)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] hoopycat, who rarely reads livejournal but is enough of a friend for me to note the day regardless :)

Today I went to the Post Office to post the first installment of Christmas cards. (Yes, the offer is still open, and [livejournal.com profile] rmjwell needs to give me his address, as I don't know it and it's not visible on your profile). I went to the sub-Post Office because Post Offices are being shut all over the place in the UK at the moment, often for stupid reasons. For example, one of the Post Offices in central London that always has a queue coming out of the door is being moved into a WH Smith that's open far shorter hours "to improve the service". So I always try to support my local sub-Post Office rather than the main one wherever possible, though it's closed on Wednesday afternoons which is usually when I have stuff to post, for some reason. (Possibly because I don't work until the evening on Wednesdays, whereas I work every other afternoon?). But today was Thursday, so I could go there.

I had two international parcels and two UK parcels, 16 small cards for the US & Canada, 2 small cards for Australia, 1 small card for the EU, 5 large cards for the US & Canada & 9 large cards for the UK. That lot came to ~£40 - and the guy behind the counter was rude to me because I had "too much" stuff and there was a big queue!! Never mind the fact that I had already weighed everything and knew the precise numbers of each type of stamp that I needed or anything like that!

It's actually not the first time he's been rude to me, either. The other time was when I was rushing to get something in the post before getting to work, while the tricycle was broken and I had to walk, and I was out of breath from walking up the hill. He told me that "someone of my age" shouldn't be out of breath walking up that hill. I was a bit too gobsmacked to start relaying the list of medical conditions I suffer from (asthma + bad joints + an evil ankle + scoliosis + IN A HURRY because I'm late for work!), and anyway, Kingston Hill is deceptively steep.

Well, I know what to do now. Next time I'll try the sub-Post Office on Park Road & see if they can be more polite to me, or go to the main Post Office and give them my money instead :P Blah.
baratron: (baratron again)
If a creature calling itself Xynar shows up on your web forum, run away screaming. Here follows a topic from Pokecharms that [livejournal.com profile] stellarwind yanked due to sheer idiocy of the original poster. I am keeping it for posterity purely and simply because I took 10 minutes of my life to explain networking to him.

Warning: his original post gave me a headache ;D )
baratron: (boots)
Having got to the airport and through security with loads of time to spare, now my flight is delayed an unspecified but large amount of time due to a "security breach" - they're making us go through screening again. Except mostly we're just standing around in a queue. And I've had to throw away the water I just bought from the Tim Hortons inside the gates. Argh! 
baratron: (corrosive)
I stayed up far too late last night courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] rivka's excellent post about AIDS deniers, people I hadn't previously realised existed. It transpires these people want to disregard all the scientific evidence that HIV is the cause of AIDS, and instead blame the factors that caused the person to become HIV positive in the first place - things like intravenous drug abuse and "being homosexual" (!). Apparently, AIDS in Africa is just old diseases of poverty given a new name. And, particularly bizarrely, they think that, rather than preventing AIDS in HIV-positive people, anti-retroviral drugs actually cause it.

It wouldn't be so bad if these fruitcakes kept their ideas to themselves - if a person wants to commit slow, painful suicide, who am I to try to stop them? But of course they have to spread their quackery, and evangelise giving up on conventional medication to other HIV-positive people. So far from just hurting themselves, they're hurting thousands or millions of others. When it spreads to politicians, you end up with a situation where the people in charge of educating and protecting their countrymen are causing them active harm. And the worst of it all is the woman who killed her child by HIV.

Christine Maggiore is a famous AIDS denier (I wanted to write "denialist", which is a bit scary) who has appeared on the front cover of magazines promoting an anti-retroviral stance. She insisted on giving birth to her children naturally, refusing AZT for either herself or for them, and breastfed them HIV-infected milk. As a result, her 3 year old child Eliza Jane died of PCP - a form of pneumonia that is only seen in the severely immunocompromised (either through AIDS or leukaemia).

Of course, she doesn't believe that. She & the child's father have a website in which they insist that the child died of an allergic reaction to the common antibiotic Amoxicillin. They even hired a quack claiming to be a pathologist to write a report about how this was possible. Never mind that he has a pathology PhD rather than being a medical doctor. Never mind that the child spent the last year of her life with a height and weight below the 3rd percentile - classic failure to thrive. Never mind that her brain tissue was full of HIV antigen. The parents disregard all of that because to admit she died of AIDS would be admitting that HIV causes AIDS, which would be admitting it was their fault.

A recent interview suggests that the parents are in the process of suing the LA County Coroner’s Office for such delights as the damage caused to their reputation. Their website has a detailed list of deaths blamed on parents, and they have the audacity to compare the coroner to Roy Meadow, the UK-based quack from hell who caused countless families to be suspected of murdering their children, and as a result had children taken away from them. Three women were famously jailed and later had their convictions quashed. One died recently, having never recovered from the ordeal.

I am sorry for any parent who loses a child. It is not the natural order of things. But blaming a severe antibiotic allergy that is completely unlike the way drug allergies usually manifest does not absolve you of guilt. Trying to cast doubt on the coroner's scientific reputation simply highlights your lack of scientific credibility. And continuing to preach that HIV does not cause AIDS - that makes you a murderer.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] redbird is awesome.

oh great

Feb. 26th, 2007 10:04 pm
baratron: (introspection)
First day out of the house since last Friday, and some asshole sprayed vinegar into my face when I was walking down the road. And my brain wasn't working well enough to get the car's registration number or anything useful like that.

I was walking up the main road from work to the bus stop, passed under an overhanging tree, and suddenly there was all this fluid in my face. I started to wipe it off, thinking it was from the tree (you know how, when it rains, trees can store up quite a lot of water to be unceremoniously dumped on you later?). Looked round at the car that was passing, wondering how it had managed to splash water from the road up into my face. I carried on walking and wiping my face - then I realised it was vinegar from the smell.

I'm just angry that I fought the initial impulse to memorise & write down the car's registration number because I thought it was an accident. Had I written down the number and it was an accident, I could have just thrown the piece of paper away - but as it is, I'm missing the one useful piece of information I could pass onto the police. And the vinegar solution was strong enough that by the time I got home (about 15 minutes later) my face was actually stinging. Vinegar is an acid - admittedly, not very strong - but if someone's driving around squirting vinegar into strangers' faces, who knows if they'll graduate to something more actively noxious?

Bah.
baratron: (Luka)
I have been suffering from rage directed at my printer today. I've decided that I'm not going to attempt to print any more labels. I'll let Richard do it when he gets in. 9 times out of 10, having Richard here solves a technical problem (all he has to do is *look* at the machine and it starts working again!).

I have also *just* discovered that we can't wrap any Christmas presents until either a) I buy more wrapping paper or b) we complete a sufficient amount of the DIY for someone to squeeze into the spare room past all the stored furniture, and rescue the wrapping paper that's in there :D

But I am positively an oasis of calm compared to some of the crazy people I've seen in Kingston lately. A couple of days ago I was in Costa and a guy in front of me had taken his drink back to the counter because it was, and I quote, "too milky". The man had ordered a caffe latte. What does he think a latte is, forgodsake? He was getting really quite angry about it.

Then a bit later I was in the Early Learning Centre trying to find a "hard dino" for the nibling, and a smartly-dressed middle-aged woman was berating a couple of members of staff. Some of the shelves had signs on them saying "1/3 off selected stock". This is a fairly common sign in shops of my acquaintance at sale time. The woman was ranting and raving about the fact that it was "misleading" that only some items were included in the 1/3 off sale, not everything in the shop. Finally she stormed out saying she was "going to report them to Trading Standards". I just... boggled. And told the distressed staff members about the latte guy in Costa to cheer them up.

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