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She's Back!!!

Posted on 2012.04.18 at 20:22
An hour or two after Catherine papered the neighbourhood, Mystery has reappeared!

Missing for 20+ hours, but back at last. I am SO relieved.

Now I must pamper her some more!

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.


Worried Cat Parent

Posted on 2012.04.18 at 12:40
Since I switched over to Dreamwidth I haven't exactly been keeping things up to date, despite the odd idea here or there about minor events or recently read books. Catherine was good enough to budget for me to get a new computer recently (the first non-pre-used one I've had since... ever?), sadly followed about a week later by the external hard drive crashing before I'd moved my music/video/ebook/pdf files over.

While I've stopped dwelling too much on the loss of all that data (which, however annoying I might find the loss, is ultimately unimportant) I now have a much greater concern - the current whereabouts of our beloved cat Mystery.

I couldn't find her before I went to bed last night, although she'd been crashed out on the bed earlier in the evening. I assumed she must have found an unusually clever spot to hide and sleep. She normally joins me at some point during the night, although very rarely she doesn't if she's in a very comfortable spot.

This morning there was no sign of her, and Catherine mentioned that the cat door was open, so she must have gone out again sometime between about 10-12 last night. I haven't got any work today and have been around the block looking for her, but so far there's no sign. This is very worrying, as normally she gets distressed by my absence, especially if she doesn't get to see me off or otherwise establish my presence of a morning. I'm hoping she found a spot in somebody's home last night and simply hasn't been able to get outside again. As far as we can tell the cats don't normally venture outside of our block, so hopefully she's still in the vicinity.

I'm trying to find other things to do, but I keep feeling there's got to be something else useful I can do to help find her. She's a very special cat to me and I'm not ready to lose her - but if I have to, I want to be there for her at the very least.

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.


Writer's Block: Educate Me

Posted on 2012.04.04 at 22:21
Tags: ,
What subject(s) do you think kids should be taught more about in school? What do you feel gets too much emphasis already?
Critical thinking skills. It's an important skill which is all too often lacking and was one of the reasons I wanted to get into primary teaching, so that I could help to encourage it from as young an age as possible. I was absolutely delighted to discover in my first year of teacher training that the primary school nearby had a thinking curriculum teacher who worked with all levels. I leapt at the opportunity to work with her during my final placement there.


Computer help?

Posted on 2011.10.19 at 15:14
Due to a persistent computer problem, about a month ago I scrapped the existing hard drive from which I was running Windows XP and reinstalled it from scratch on a hard drive in better condition. My Windows disc was up to Service Pack 2, and Windows Installer took a little while to catch up with the updates, while at the same time I was hunting down current drivers to get everything else working properly.

The big problem I've been having is successfully upgrading to Service Pack 3. Every time I've tried, the computer goes into a blue-screen-of-death reboot cycle until I start up in safe mode and restore the previous settings. I've been taking precautions such as shutting down virus and malware protection programs before the installation, but they don't seem to have any effect. Most of the advice I can find online assumes that the problem is caused by the Intel PPM driver - but this advice assumes that I'm using a non-Intel processor, which is not the case.

Today I tried filming the startup process through a camera so I could freeze-frame the blue screen and actually read it. Although some of the letters were a bit blurry due to the picture resolution, this is (almost certainly) the technical message I received:

STOP: 0x0000007E (0xC0000005, 0xF72E5A3B, 0xF7886324, 0xF7886020)
fltmgr.sys - Address F72E5A3B base at F720E000 Datestamp 4
(I'm less certain about the F-numbers on the second line, as they were more difficult to read)

Some further checking suggests that STOP: 0x0000007E translates as "SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED" and that 0xC0000005 translates as "STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATION", indicating that "a memory access violation occurred."

This still doesn't really mean much to me and I've no idea what to do next. I would really like to get the software as up-to-date as possible as I'm hoping this will sort out some performance issues that weren't evident when the original (smaller and older) hard drive was fully functioning. I'm also becoming aware that some things I might like to do with the computer require a minimum of XP Service Pack 3.

So... any ideas?

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The Good Ship Livejournal

Posted on 2011.07.29 at 17:01
It's not like I've been making any entries here for a while now, but I have been keeping up with my friends list - up to Sunday anyway. I've only just been able to get access again. This is particularly strange as Catherine was able to get sporadic after she got home on Wednesday night, but I still couldn't access it at all despite using a computer on the same connection. Was it more favorably inclined to Macs than PCs? Did it just like the position of her computer in the room better? Who can say.

Anyway, this made me decide to finally take the step of setting up a Dreamwidth account under the same name. I created it last night and will start cross-posting from over there shortly. Will this usher in a regime of actually making more frequent posts? No promises, but it could happen...

I actually tried to post this message last night as well, when I discovered that I could at last access LJ again. Unfortunately, after loading the basic page and writing up my entry I discovered that I had exhausted its opportunities for the evening and was unable to do anything else with it, which tends to reinforce the impression that I shouldn't rely on it.

Any assistance in locating people I know over on Dreamwidth would also be welcome. I'm going to keep reading my LJ friends list, but I'd rather have a more reliable option available in case (or perhaps I should say "when") this happens again.


Oh Man...

Posted on 2011.01.15 at 00:54
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Broadcast "The Book Lovers"
First post of the year and it's another cheery one.

I just read that Trish Keenan, the vocalist from Broadcast, passed away a short while ago from complications with pneumonia.

She had a wonderful ethereal voice which complemented their music very well, and what makes it hit me harder is that I only really started getting into their music within the last few months via their most recent album, a collaboration entitled "Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age". Suddenly I find out that I'm already at the end of their story (although I still have a few of the middle bits to fill in). I'm sure the others will continue to produce music that interests me, but her vocals felt like such an important part of the mix and she had so much more she could have contributed to the world. Ten years of music which should have lasted much longer.


Cheery Me

Posted on 2010.11.26 at 22:51
Last thing I wrote here was a brief obituary and here I am doing it again. I'll try to right something more cheery here again sometime soon. In the meantime, two people to acknowledge.

First up, Ingrid Pitt. You might expect me to remember her for her two roles in Doctor Who (in The Time Monster and Warriors of the Deep), but to be honest, neither of them really displayed her working at the top of her ability. Indeed, she made a rather embarassing decision on how her character should behave in WotD (her character was doomed, but she really should have gone with the scripted death rather than deciding that a scientist would attempt to karate-chop a reptilian sea creature over twice her height which could electrocute people). Instead, I would like to celebrate some of her roles in 1970s horror movies - a small role in The Wicker Man; a segment in The House That Dripped Blood; the starring role of Elizabeth Báthory in Countess Dracula; and, most notably, her performance as Carmilla in The Vampire Lovers, the first and best of Hammer's loosely connected "lesbian vampire trilogy". She gave a very effective and commanding performance in the role which finally made me understand that her reputation did in fact have a basis in her acting, not just her looks. Apparently she even had a role in the BBC's production of The Comedy of Errors, with which I look forward to catching up.

The death which prompted me to make this entry was that of Peter Christopherson, one half of the band Coil. His (and the band's) other half, John Balance, passed away six years previously. I don't actually own that much of their prolific output, and what I do own is mainly from their work as remixers, but they produced a wide range of interesting work. I first became aware of them when I spotted their rejected Hellraiser soundtrack (supposedly rejected due to being too disturbing), although my first purchase was their highly atypical cover version of "Tainted Love". I remember noticing one of their remixes of Nine Inch Nail's "Closer" being used on the opening credits of "Se7en" and being pissed off that the remixers weren't credited, as the end product sounded a lot more like Coil than NIN. Their golden period for me is the early 90s, with albums such as "Love's Secret Domain" and "Stolen and Contaminated Songs". John Coulthart has written his own reminiscence.

Two more people whose work I must revisit soon in remembrance.


"This university is a swamp of fear and loathing"

Posted on 2010.10.21 at 23:14
Current Mood: sadsad
Graham Crowden, alas, has died.

I remember him best for his eccentric performance as Dr. Jock McCannon in A Very Peculiar Practice" (which is long past due for DVDs of season 2 and the telemovie), closely followed by his deliciously over-the-top performance as Soldeed in Doctor Who: The Horns of Nimon, for which he received a lot of flack from among the more humourless Doctor Who fans.

He also had minor but distinctive roles as Old Priest in The Company of Wolves, Lord Chancellor in Bleak House and Fanatics' Leader in Jabberwocky. Oooh, and I mustn't forget Dr. Smiles in The Final Programme! Plus it seems I can look forward to the pleasure of catching up on his performances in the BBC Shakespeare (Coriolanus and Much Ado About Nothing) and The Comic Strip Presents, among other things.

I don't know much about the man's life outside of his acting, but his performances have always delighted me and I look forward to reacquainting myself with his work.


Forgot to Mention - I'm Free!!

Posted on 2010.10.09 at 09:43
Free I tell you! Last essay finished yesterday at around 5:40 pm, with an Express Post envelope ready for it to be rushed off for the 6.00 pm collection.

The printer was very helpful by not running out of ink as I printed it, even though the ink counter was worryingly low.

And then... the university website screwed up. You need to print a cover sheet to attach to the front of the essay, stating all the relevant details and affirming that you haven't committed plagiarism. And the damn website was down!

Fortunately, for one of my other subjects which had to be submitted electronically, somebody had reconstructed a document with all the necessary fields, so I was able to change the necessary details, print it, sign it, rush off down the street at 5.52 pm, pass Catherine who was on the way home and say a brief hello, wait impatiently for the lights to change, run down to the postbox, post it, walk back more slowly, down two glasses of water and some Panadol and relax. Time: 6.00 pm. Sigh of relief.

Now I just have to wait to see how that job interview on Thursday went...


Getting Closer

Posted on 2010.10.01 at 15:10
Right, assignment 3 of 4 finished and submitted! I now have a leisurely 7 days to sort out the final one. I think I can give myself the rest of the day off, as long as I get back into the research tomorrow.

I know, my posts are pretty boring at the moment, but it at least makes a change from "nonexistent"...

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