22 February 2012

Trashing the Memory Palace

You can read many articles and "How Tos" about memory palaces.   Why you should have one, how much easier is to remember things etc etc.

If you don't know what a memory palace is by the way check out this -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci

I think I have the haunted, creepy "You shouldn't go in there Timmy" type of memory palace.  It isn't one that I intentionally created for myself.  It evolved over the years.

I'm not naturally someone who will share their innermost feelings.  I can rant about anything and everything till I am blue in the face, but on the really personal stuff, the stuff that has hurt me and bad memories, I close up very fast.

When I am depressed, when something sad happens or I have a bad experience, my default mode goes into an action. 

  • System check……… Status bad
  • Clean up bots sent in
  • Remove bad thing
  • Tie up with rope
  • Throw into dark cupboard
  • Lock door
  • Reboot
  • System check…… All clear

The haunted memory palace is different from the one that you intentionally create to store your good memories, your facts and figures.   Because the haunted memory palace really does have a ghost in the attic, rattling it’s chains.  There really is something scary around the corner and if you try to open that locked door, something really will jump out and bite you.

Doing the blog over the past year has been cathartic for me.  I get to rant away on passing subjects and things that irritate me and in turn, putting those things on the blog, on paper so to speak, gives me time to sort through the rest of the crap in my head.

So today, I’ve started a mission.  A personal mission.  I’m masterminding a war on the haunted palace and little by little, the curtains will be opened, the light will be let in and the doors will be unlocked.  The ghost in the attic will be evicted.

Because the thing is, just like a real haunted house, you are always at your most scared before you step through the door, and then you tend to find that things aren’t as bad as you originally feared.

20 February 2012

Extended Circles - Enter my Room 101

I have a rant.  It’s only a mini one about something silly, but if I don’t get it off my chest I may implode.  I don’t want that, it’s only Monday after all.

I have previously done a post on Google+ before see Google Plus, Well Not Much Actually  That was also a rant, done when Google+ was doing the popularity rounds and I was getting badgered from various people to join up.  

After a while I had another look at Google+ and found that, if you tailor it correctly to your needs, it actually can be quite useful.  Personally, although I do have a few friends on there, the main purpose of my account relates to this blog and people I have met through blogging.  It can be a useful tool in that respect to upload my new posts and also interact with other bloggers.

I also understand now the concepts of having different circles.  There are certain things that you would say to your friends that you wouldn’t to a work colleague.  You can make arrangements with people, organise events all without having the general public know.  For any status of a general nature you also have the option to open it up to the public, unrestricted.

All that is good.  I like it.  But, as always with me, I have a couple of issues which irritate the hell out of me.  I can’t help myself.  It makes my blood boil.  You could say that I need something to be actually angry at but then again, would you really want to see that?

So here we go with my mini rant.  

“Extended Circles”
I usually only use either my friend circle, blog circle or public option but today I noticed this “extended circles” option and curious as it what it was, I clicked.  The option to post your status to “all your circles and all people in your circle’s circles”.  

What the actual hell?  Whilst I can understand you may want to post something to someone specifically, why also to limited people, who you don’t know?  What can be so important and secret about your update that it is limited like that?  So you are allowing people you don’t know to see your status, but as they are “pre vetted” being are friends of friends they are ok?

When I decided to write this post, and indeed until about half way through writing it, I thought it was Google+ making my blood boil.  But it isn’t.  It’s the WAY people use it.  Whilst it is Google+ (I refuse point blank to call it G+) that have come up with the whole circle business, including the extended circles which is ridiculous and snobbish, it is the way that people are using the circles that irritate me.

I constantly see people’s updates with the “limited” option on or “extended circles” and 85% of the time I wonder why exactly that update is so special/important/secret/friend only that has to be limited or “extended”.  It may be a joke, or a quote or just a comment on someone’s day.  Why is that special?  It can’t be sensitive information or important information, because all of your circles can see it, and all of their circles too….

For me, what started out as a good idea of circles has turned into giving it’s users the belief that what they have to say is more important and more worthwhile than what others have to say.  

“Oh yes Mr Smith, you are allowed to see this update, but no no no!  You can’t see this another one!  This one is special, there are words with more than one syllable”. 

“Oh no Mrs Turner, I post on my Google+ every single day!  Well, you of course can’t see them all, you’re not important enough for that” 

I was only slightly irritated by Google+ before, but the “extended circles” option has tipped me over the edge.  Maybe because it’s Monday, maybe because I was due a rant but maybe, just maybe because Google+ users are turning out to be status snobs.

I’m done.

17 February 2012

My Ode to Juanita Weasel

 I came across The Bloggess a while ago.  She has give me many laughs over the months and been an inspiration too.  Check out The Travelling Red Dress

This week however, Jenny gave us something to play with and I've had a little fun.  I introduce you to Juanita Weasel!!

Chesney "Juanita" Hawkes


Adele "Juanita"

My Ode to every other day in the week

15 February 2012

This Post has no Point

I'm having one of those days.  You know those days, when for some reason (illness being my reason today), every person in the world irritates you.

Usually if I am having a bad day/in a bad mood etc I am able to mask how I am feeling and continue to be happy, smiling and polite to those around me.  This obviously helps when I am at work.  Office environments and bad moods don't go together.

Today though, there is no hiding it.  The office junior is irritating me (although to be fair, she has the brain the size of a pea and no common sense), my colleagues are irritating me, the boss' OCD querks are irritating me.  Every client I speak to is irritating me too, although I really do have to be nice to them, I would rather not get fired.

I made a sign for my office door.  I think it gives everyone fair warning.  The short way of saying if you piss me off today, I may kill you.

 Absolutely pointless post, but I do feel a bit better for having a mini rant.

14 February 2012

The Defection

I’ve had a mobile phone since I was around 17, so, bloody hell, about 16 years.  That makes me feel old.

At first there wasn’t much choice with your mobile.  They were all of the brick type, the most exciting thing on them was playing “Snake”. 

Now of course, mobile phones are practically a laptop in your pocket with practically any functionality you want available at your fingertips.  Phones have become not just a way to contact people by phone and text, but now you can do practically anything you want on them.

Typically, the mobile phone has become both a status symbol and a fashion statement.  The first mobile I remember having that was the “in” thing at the time was the Nokia 3210.  It was to be fair it was a good little phone, the battery life lasted an eternity and it was practically indestructible, lasting the years between 18-20 with no damage.  This could not be said for the majority of phones today.

The next statement phone was the pink Motorola Razr.  I don’t remember it having anything amazing in the function line, but it was a flip phone and it was pink and I loved it. 

Those two are the only phones I remember, pre smart phone, as being phones that I really loved.

My first foray into smart phones lead me to the Iphone 3G.  At the time, I fell completely in love.  The touch screen, the apps, the easy connection to the internet and emails.  I was a true Apple fan girl and a vocal advocate of it.  I rarely had it out of my hand and to be fair, in the most part, the things I loved about it then  are still things I love about it now.  I would still always chose an Iphone over an Android.

Now however, be it getting older or just knowing exactly what I want from my mobile phone, I am tempted, in fact, am going to defect from the Apple family.   The truth is, I miss the clickety click of a keypad.

So this time, instead of going with the latest wonder child, instead of going with what is the most popular, instead of going with what people think I should have, I am making my choice on what I actually want.

My search criteria was a keypad but some touch capability, easy connection to internet and email and connection to the Apps I use on a regular basis.  I counted up the Apps I currently use and when I did, I wondered why I was still with Apple.  I have barely left the first page screen.

My search lead me to Blackberry.  The 9900 seems to have everything that I want in a mobile phone, and more.  I’ve heard all the stories about Blackberry, including the battery issues.  Considering however that I have had to do a full charge on my Iphone twice a day for the past 9-12 months, this really isn’t a big issue for me.

I always thought of Blackberry as being purely a business phone.  The firm I work at in fact all use Blackberrys.  But on looking at the things I use, phone and text obviously aside, typing on the phone still represents 80% of my usage be it emails, Twitter or drafting a blog post.

Everyone has their own camp when it comes to smart phones and each are passionate about their particular brand.  To be honest though, I don’t care.  As long as I get the functionality I want, having done the research so I know what I am getting, who really cares about what people think?

So next week, am making the move.  I will give it a month and then you will either get a post on how much I love, or hopefully not, hate it.  Time will tell.

9 February 2012

The Sign on your Head

They say that the first impression is the one that sticks in your mind.  Everyone says you shouldn’t do it, hence the “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” saying.  But everyone does, be it subconsciously or knowingly.

The way you judge someone on first impressions isn’t just about looks.  It is the aura that they give out.  Confident, shy, awkward, outgoing.  You can see a glimpse of what someone is like in those first few minutes, or can you?

Because not everyone is able to make a good first impression.  That doesn’t mean that the person you meet isn’t going to be someone great, they just aren’t comfortable in first time meeting scenarios.

Myself for example.  I don’t make a good first impression.  I’m shy, awkward, say things that don’t make sense and wary.  That’s just with women.  With men, double the wary, double the shy and apparently, accordingly to male friends I have, I have a “fuck off” sign invisibly stamped to my head.

FUCK OFF PHOTO
Maybe this is why I'm single


When you actually get to know me, after that first meeting, I am nice (usually), sociable, sometimes funny and occasionally a bit mad.  I haven’t been able to escape that “first impression” I give over the years, but now, I think screw it. 

If someone is going to judge me on a first impression, they really aren’t worth knowing in the first place.

So sod it.  Apologies by the way for the sullen photo.  But I needed something with my forehead on and this was the only thing I had.  Honest.  Wasn't trying a moody sexy pose thing at all.  Hangs head in shame.  Oh god.

*Edit     Holy shit!  I never noticed before, my eyebrows are wonky!  Who knew!

3 February 2012

Hi, My Name is Vicky & I'm a Fixer

The office world.  The water cooler gossip, the passive aggressive notes in the fridge, the hierarchical pettiness between staff.  The fixers and the ditchers.

Every single office in the world has it’s fixers and it’s ditchers.  

For those uninitiated to the office:
  • Fixer – a person commonly known to fix broken printers, photocopiers and give IT advice to people who just plainly can’t be arsed.
  • Ditcher – a person who breaks the aforementioned printers, photocopiers and computers but can’t be arsed to fix them themselves.

You know the drill.  You are sat in your office/cubicle and you hear it.  That goddamn beeping.  Someone has just broken the printer/copier.  Then the silence.  You wait, hope, for the next sounds.  The banging of the various compartments, the (in my office) swearing at the machine, the re-start beep.  But no, it’s just silence.  They’ve walked away.

A ditcher has just struck.

Once you have been identified as a fixer, there is no going back.  There will forever be that invisible sign on your head saying “I fix things”.  Ditchers can spot you at a hundred paces. 

Each time you promise yourself that it’s the last time.  You’ll just leave it broken next time.  It’s not fair on you.  But it’s in your nature.  You can’t just leave and besides, you will have to use the damn thing eventually.  

Ditchers on the other hand are harder to spot.  Because they are the invisible people.  You never see the person who leaves the printer without filling it, the evil little cretin that breaks the photocopier and then leaves it.  They magically disappear into thin air at the sound of the error tone.  The breed that lurk behind doorways and peer around corners.

 
So, are you a fixer or a ditcher?  You might on the other hand be sitting with your laptop, reading this post and thinking "Christ, I'm glad I don't work in an office, you're all lunatics".

Choose your side.