Lost in journalism

Is this what writing a master’s thesis feels like? Endless revisions; choosing a word, no, choosing a better one (and most likely going back to the first one); trying to think of a catchy start; trying to think of witty headers; just trying to think of how to end this thing…!

I think I now only have two chapters to extend and reference links to check. Then I’m done. Ha.

Disclaimer: This post does not reflect my “journalistic” style. Not even close. And no, I haven’t seen Trainspotting in a while.

Just cruisin’

Yesterday morning (alarm went off at 7:40 — on a Saturday!) I hopped on the train and travelled to my aunt (+ family) near Hämeenlinna

(Map from Wikipedia is in public domain.)

They had bought a new laptop, printer/scanner, and ADSL connection a few weeks ago and needed me to hook it all up. I don’t understand how anyone can keep their hands off a brand new computer, but they’re the sort of people who think computers are the Source of all Evil. Which is why they’re probably planning to keep the thing secret until their 4-year-old and 6-year-old both turn 18.

Nevertheless, off I went and hooked it all up as requested. I didn’t have to do much though, the Internet connection worked as soon as the computer had had time to think a little and the printer-scanner combo had some Easy Peasy installation application (which I didn’t use though…). At least I taught them a little about the programs and created a new Email account (on Outlook Express, ick). I was planning on installing a Real Browser, but I guess it’s easier for everyone if they just use Internet Explorer. Mozilla’s localisation is horrible and incomplete (at least the last time I checked). No offence, Mozilla Localisation team.

When I was done, I headed to my grandparents in Hämeenlinna proper. My uncle (not a blood-relative, but I guess one calls the spouses uncles/aunts, too?) drove me there because he went to pick up their kids. They were care-of the grandparents because, as I said, they weren’t allowed to see the new toys. (I suspected that they probably smell that there’s something new and electric in the house…) When we were sitting in the car he asked me when was the last time I drove. I ho’ed and hummed and replied I didn’t remember (probably 2-3 years ago, at a different aunt, forced by a different uncle). He said I should try it out. I said I didn’t have my driver’s licence. “That doesn’t matter, we’re in the country side now! And besides, the police could look it up on their computer” (already having police in the picture, hu?). I politely turned the offer down a couple of times but when he suddenly pulled over I didn’t really have a choice. So — trembling — I circled the car to the driver’s side, sat down, struggled to position the seat so I could even reach the pedals. At first I didn’t realise I could hold on to the steering wheel to pull myself forward. Instead, I kept sliding back.

The car was wonderful to drive compared to our humongous VW Passat whose sideview mirrors feel 10 meters apart, ready to collide with the passing cars, mobile or immobile. Alright, maybe it’s not that bad but I haven’t driven the Passat for… hold on, have I ever driven it?

The road was wonderfully empty except once I had to pass a car on a snowed-in road. It went alright if going a little over the snowbank is ‘alright’. When I turned to the grandparents’ house Grandpa was outside and surprised to see me get out of the car on the wrong side. He said my entrance had been quite swift but I don’t think I drove that fast… If I did, I’ve been known to do that. I’ve been known to cause grown men slap their hands over their eyes — at least mentally. But hey, the entrances have never ended with a crash.

At my grandparents’ I helped them with some anti-virus woes — the software wanted to upgrade and there was a double icon in the tray. The double icon made Grandpa nervous. The download took a while with their 56kb modem. Yeah, some still have those things. I also installed a similar printer/scanner for them, this time using the Easy Peasy installation wizard (took considerably longer than the old school installation). The printer is pretty nifty; maybe I should get one of those.

Infinite loop waiting to happen

One of our (sub)vendors at work has an email template that they all seem to use. It ends with “Please confirm the receipt if this.” Just imagine what would happen if they used it in internal correspondence.

No more days like this, please

Mum says I’m an addict. No, it’s not that, not really.

When you gotta work, you gotta work. At least where I work. A bunch of translations have to be returned on Thursday 3 pm sharp, and if the PM is sick and you’re stuck in a lecture all morning — too bad. Now I wish I hadn’t gone to the lecture because I decided not to continue with the course (boring ethics stuff).

I arrive at work 12:15 to find out that I have the PM‘s job to do. You’d think 2 hours 45 minutes would be enough to check a few files but it’s not (alright, it’s not ‘a few’). To add to all the fun, the FTP server was full and the first uploads failed. At this point I was giggling hysterically (remaining composed, though). I called it a ‘desperate giggle’ and I was told I’m too young to be desperate. I don’t think desperation depends on age. At least it isn’t harmful as long as it isn’t a permanent condition.

I was supposed to meet up with a Hungarian friend today (she’s studying in Finland, though, but I don’t know when she’s going back) at 3 pm, then at 4 pm, and two minutes to I realised I probably wasn’t going to make it. So I had to call her and cancel. “Alright, I’ll be out by 5 pm,” I thought. Had to think again. The next patch of files has to be returned by 10 am Friday morning and no one’s going to get anything done in the morning anyway so I stayed to check those files. Finally, at 6:45 pm I had to leave because I didn’t want to miss the 6:52 bus. 3 files were left to do in the morning.

Now I’m wondering if I should try and go earlier tomorrow. I have a fluey kind of thing so I don’t really feel like it. When I was the main PM I think I managed fine even if I arrived at work at the normal time, 8:45. Yeah, I guess I’m going in the normal time. Maybe I’ll even get to leave a little earlier. Perhaps at 4? Alright alright, 5:30 at the latest!

Grammar terrorists

At Jafer‘s there’ve been discussions on grammar and grasp of language (and lack there of). I’m so glad someone else is similarly enthusiastic about these things.

This email I received today to university mail seemed somehow very fitting:

I’m looking for a native english speaker who could be interested to come to test usability of an user interface. The testing takes about 1,5 hours and as a thank you the tester will get a 30 euros gift card to Stockmann’s warehouse or 4 movie tickets to Finnkino.

Testing takes place at [censored], which address is [censored]. Available testing times are:

tuesday the 21th March from 8 o’clock to 15.30
thursday the 23th March from 8 o’clock to 15.30
friday the 24th March from 8 o’clock to 12.30

Usability tests are unformal and relaxed happenings and the test is based on the testers opinions and natural actions [‘scuse me?!].

If you got interested or know someone who could be interested please contact me by email [censored] or by phone [censored]. I will also tell more to those who are interested to be a tester.

(emphases mine)

Ay ay ay! Almost as bad is this video where the guy says e.g. “flied.”

Recently I wrote to a company because they ran a newspaper ad which had a very serious comma error (“Valikoimaa enemmän, kuin koskaan.”). Quite a while ago I complained to a game store because their website had ugly mistakes (they corrected some of them!). The oddest thing I’ve noticed was an error at the library’s (!!!) homepage. It was a compound noun error. I don’t know if they’ve fixed it yet; I’d have to order a book to know.


Finally last night I started re-doing my X-Files site — literally ‘night’ because I couldn’t stop before 3 am. The current layout is horrible, cluttered, and framed. Now I’m making a really nice layout — if I may say so myself — which is only for CSS-aware browsers :laugh: I’ll have to think of something for IE. I’m using position: fixed which makes it a no-no for IE. Actually, I downloaded beta version of IE 7 but when the installation starts it says to back up all files first. “All files”?! What’s that supposed to mean? All 80.2 GBs?

Here’s a screenshot of the layout:

The faces of Mulder and Scully are above everything else — the content text scrolls behind them. That took a bit of tweaking to get it work nicely but I’m pleased with the result.

I’ll have to try and keep the site uncluttered. All the awards and fanlistings have to go. I want it to look more sophisticated and grown-up. Guess what a shock it will be for the visitors when they stumble across my alien collection! The collection is the apple of my eye and it’s not going anywhere from XAMM.

I’m building the site on WordPress, and I found the greatest image plugin! It replaces text inside a variety of elements and you can restrict the replacement to classes, too.

Today I noticed that the X-Files is on a break (with no end in sight) because of the most idiotic show, the Bar. I’ll have time to watch some old episodes and add content to my brand new site. I’ll try and open it soon.

Everybody loves spring, right?

Ctrl + Alt + Del comic

My thoughts exactly. :laugh:

Jen’s a dunce

I watch the Bachelor(ette), I’m not too embarrassed to admit it. Ryan is my all-time favourite and Jen let him go!?
Here’s just a cute little picture for me to goggle at:

Ryan from Bachelorette 3

The finale is next Sunday but I just had to see what to expect. I knew Jen would pick Jerry — they always pick the “mysterious” and unsteady ones. The ones that don’t give you answers and won’t tell how they feel. I couldn’t believe when the last time Meredith chose Ian, either. No one’s stomach stands a permanent rollercoaster so why doesn’t any of the Bachelorettes pick the one that is “all I’ve ever wanted”?

Luck in King-size chunks

Today I met up with a friend for coffee and because we were in a bookstore I wanted to pop by the shelves with books by a certain author… There was nothing new in the paperbacks but when I went to the hardcover section I found an Illustrated Edition of ‘Salem’s Lot! I already have the story in paperback but I couldn’t not buy it and leave it there for all kinds of people with their filthy hands. It’s so pretty! Just look at it!

Invigorated by this I — just a moment ago — ordered On Writing and Tommyknockers. On Writing will hopefully be from the correct series (NEL).

But why oh why am I buying books just after returning 3 months’ worth of student allowance? To cheer myself up?