Monday, December 11, 2006

When Selling To Students

One thing that companies that deal with students (i.e. most of them) need to remember is that we like doing things online. It lets us do things in our own time, and removes the need for that pesky human interaction stuff.

If, due to server problems, obscure conditions in student discounts, or for some other reason, we are forced to do things the old-fashioned way and use the telephone, we will. Given that we are being nice enough to conform to your requirements - calling in & waiting on hold instead of just doing it all electronically - it would be courteous if you could recognise the fact that we are aware of the website, and would preferentially use it. Playing messages in your hold queue that send us to the website really doesn't do a lot in that direction.

Just thought I'd point that out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Toothpick Time

if (brain)

I think that pretty much sums it up...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Not that I'm counting the days or anything...

I figure that this is an appropriate time (if one ignores that I've known this for more than a week) to announce that I'm in Waterloo next term as I got an RA job with one of the mech eng profs.

I will be in Waterloo and not run off my feet! More importantly, I will be in Waterloo when the yarn harlot comes to talk to the K-W knitters' guild. (Must remember to join). (No offense Amy. You're cool, but you're not Steph).

Don't actually have time now to write more. Scott may have fixed numerical methods (we have a bouncy ball. Well... when we don't have flubber that is), but I still have 2B to survive. (Hopefully).

On that note - I will talk to you when I invite you to the halfway point party. If not before.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Those Poor Maligned Borrowers

Those of you who know me (which I suspect is everyone reading this) are aware that I'm not really a believer in keeping a student kitchen - good knives, and a steel to keep them that way, a(n almost) full set of good pots, twice as much in the way of spices as the average person has (a third as much as I want), and etc. The one area in which I'm really deficient is cutlery. Well... more somewhere to keep the cutlery. Currently it's sitting in a milk bag all mixed together. This is a temporary measure: I took it out of its earlier plastic bag, which had been destroyed by fork tines, with the intent of sorting it into milk bags. One for forks, one for knives, one for spoons, so I wouldn't have to dig through the cutlery to find what I wanted.

I was rather foiled in my plan by the fact that I seem to be down to two milk bags. I did a check of my knapsack in case I had forgotten bags in there (not that uncommon an occurance). Nope, nothing. I asked my housemate with whom I'm sharing kitchen supplies - maybe he knew what was happening to the bags that I had left out to dry. Another housemate spoke up "oh, you were saving those? I've been throwing them out." So, because I take the recycling out regularly I am down to two milk bags. And since we're drinking little enough milk that we're using cartons, not 4L bags, I'm in serious trouble.

If anyone can offer advice on how to survive without milk bags it would be much appreciated. It's obviously possible, or else my other ones wouldn't have ended up in bag recycling, but I've never seen it done.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Inhuman Rights

Although not really from the end of the political spectrum that I tend towards (when I admit to existing on it at all that is) I am fond of the saying that the right to swing one's fist ends where the other's face begins. Our actions can hurt other people, and arguing that protecting others infringes on one's own rights just doesn't cut it. We all share this planet, and if a butterfly can produce a typhoon by getting from point a to point b the only way it knows how, ask how much damage we are guilty of, from ignorance, from laziness, from sense of entitlement. If we want to see how rich we are it's not appropriate to compare with those around us, those who have more than the earth can afford. Instead look to those overseas, who are living on less, since we have taken more.

Of course, I suspect that this sort of pontificating would be more tolerable coming from me if I hadn't lost my temper with my classmate & decided to make a point out of a small issue.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Think I'm Jealous

For this term I'm living in the basement of a house with 4 others. The upstairs tenants are all guys, however it looks like one of them has a girlfriend over for the weekend - one of them has "put the seat down, there's ladies in the house" in his msn screen name.

Now, I know that I really don't qualify as a lady, and that someone who's over for a weekend gets more special treatment, but boy do I wish that consideration was followed down here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thank you!

I am just going to take a few minutes out from insanely working on my Real Time OS project (read: waiting to figure out what work I can do now) to announce that an anonymous donor has subsidised programmes with the Grand River Conservation Authority to almost 50% for Guiding and Scouting groups. The fact that I doubt my girls will take advantage of this doesn't change the fact that I think it's a) really nice that someone would do something for kids like this and b) it's a really good way to spend money - educating our youth on conservation and water for tomorrow.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

So this is looking to be an interesting year at guides. (It also looks like it might be the last for the seventh Waterloo guides, but that's a different story entirely). We have a very small company, making it easier to manage, but one of the girls is developmentally challenged.

This isn't the first time I've worked with a girl who has a hard time with what we expect of her, who can't remember to wait for the other girls, who doesn't sit well, who needs some extra attention, and a bit of leeway in the rules. It is, however, the first time I've had to do so as a guider (rather than just a teenager helping out.) Before, I was always able to turn to the guiders for help, and just follow their lead. Currently I have the most experience of any of the guiders in the company. I'm just not used to that sort of authority.

Having been put in the hot seat as I was, I have now been able to look back at some other circumstances where the guider in charge, who I have been known to look to as an all-knowing source of what to do (the image is really well kept), was out of her depth. It's a really odd feeling to have childhood icons knocked down to human size like that. Rather scary as a matter of fact. Especially when it starts to happen to parents.

Like most people, I found it really difficult to have to realise that my mother was once just like me, and to see parallels between where I am now, and realise that she was there once. But I did survive that. What's scary now is to realise how much like me she still is. There's no magic potion, no fairy who granted her a wish to all of a sudden become "mom" and be exempt from the doubts that plague her children. She still struggles with the same problems that plagued her at my age, and she is still the same person.

And despite the difficulty I am having in equating us, I am glad that she has done such a good job of hiding that.

I'm Stuck!

Computers aren't normally known for eating anything more than streams of 1's and 0's. And people who can make computers listen to them claim that computers don't actually eat my data - I just lose it. People are definitely supposed to be safe.

Which is why I suspect that my computer-savy friends who I asked for help last night were very amused with my complaint that I was stuck in a man* page, and didn't know how to get out.

*man pages are manual pages for Unix commands

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is happening far too early.

See the nice black portable roof? (The snow flakes themselves are hard to see.)

What really gets me is that I'm a pedestrian now. I'm far too lazy to own a road bike - I need year-round transportation.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Brillant Idea!

So, I have a habit of having "brillant" ideas that really aren't. (I almost tried to create a function that would add any object to the appropriate queue. Fortunately the "What on Earth is she trying to say??" looks from my groupmates made me realise what I was saying.) I am therefore looking for opinions from people: is creating nice stitchmarkers with a needle size tag on them to go on my loose circular needles a good idea? I figure I can attach the points together normally so the marker stays on in storage, and I'll have a beaded stitch marker when I'm using them. And I won't have to search out my gauge all the time. Opinions?

Monday, October 02, 2006

I Think I Need a Horseshoe

So despite my conviction that superstition is really foolish, and a waste of time, I'm discovering that I perhaps hold with superstition more than I thought I did.

Today I finally hit the part in the sweater where it goes from being a ring to being a tube (i.e. the length of the knitting is greater than the difference in radii of the circular needle & the sweater). And I'm still having "hmm. This is considered a bad idea." thoughts.

I'm just going to have to see this as a challenge - I WILL prove that stupid superstition wrong. There's no such thing as the sweater curse! At least... no actual curse...

And for those of you who care - Ashkeyana has a bit more to say.

Apparently I'm Good at Cleaning

So today I followed a link given by Danielle Bean, to a suggested way to get one's house clean and manageable in a month. Now I'm not going to suggest to anyone who's ever seen my room that I'm an organized person, or that I really know how to beat dirt. However, I find it quite amusing that all of the "Timesaving Tip"s that they gave out all seemed to be very intuitive to me. To the point of "you mean there's people who don't do that?"

Engineers - we aren't lazy, we're just efficient.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pedestrians Seems Wise

So the other day I had an interesting experience whilst unlocking my bike from the bike racks outside Engineering 2. I lifted the front wheel over the top bar, and realised that it wasn't supposed to be doing that. It took me a minute to realise what "that" was.

"That" turned out to be moving in ways which bore no resemblance to the movement of the frame. The which it really wasn't intended to do. What really gets me is that I don't even have a quick release wheel. And I KNOW that that bolt was nice & tight - I just tightened it myself a few weeks before that. So basically someone was walking around with a toolkit and decided to take the front wheel off my bike.

I'm not quite sure whether this was an attempt at theft (which would be really odd as my tires are almost bald, and are about to start cracking on the sides). The other option is someone trying to be an annoying idiot. Well... they succeeded at being an annoying idiot. Although this is less annoying than the people who rotate bike racks 90 degrees (i.e. to a vertical position), leaving bikes hanging off of them.

Me, I'm very glad that I lock my bike through the wheel. Always. Having a cable lock is good for that. However I do wish I could find the person who did that, just to figure out if he was trying to steal, or trying to vandalize. And the suggestion I received of tying him (her?) up somewhere on campus, with a sign describing what was done to my bike is tempting... however I'm trying to avoid murder.

All's well that ends well. We fixed my bike up by putting the wheel back on (which I want to learn how to do by myself, if it's at all possible), finger-tightening the bolt and then wheeling her over to a tool kit to finish securing the wheel. So I have my lazy person's transportation working. I never even really lost it. And besides - I was feeling probably more confident than I ought to have about how old my bike looked making it safe. It's still very clearly a very nice bike. (Once I do some repairs...)

To People Who Sit Next To Me In Lectures

No matter how bored you are I would recommend not sleeping. After all, if you're bored odds are decent that I am too. And thread is cheap.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Why Learning Your Schedule is a Waste of Time

There's an interesting migratory phenomenon in the engineering buildings noticed, I'm sure, by staff and faculty at about 20 to 30 minutes past the hour. It's rather amusing to notice from the inside, when it's not frustrating. Here I went to the bother of learning where to go, and it does me no good at all. The only way to get to class is to follow the herd - unless you know the shortcuts through the buildings that other people don't. And since "short"cuts rarely are... just go with the flow. Or be the person who's 30 seconds ahead of everyone else, and fight your way against the crowd on your way back from the drop box.

Either way - that's engineering.

Monday, September 25, 2006

You know you're addicted when...

Being late for guides because of an emergency trip to Michaels (for needles that you've know about all weekend) seems perfectly legit.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

In The Beginning

So I might be here for a while. Then again, I might not. I must say that this is nicer than where I was before, but I have yet to decide if it's worth it. Old stuff & new posts for a while will be back at my msn space.