Judge a co-worker by the stray email

At work there’s a woman who has irked me from the beginning. I don’t know why she gives out this stuck-up vibe. I suppose it’s like anti-charisma. (Note, she’s the only annoying person in the company — in my opinion.)

We have mailing lists at work for downstairs people and upstairs people (and several different group combinations). I’m on the upstairs list but the person I’m backing up is, for some reason, also on the downstairs list. Today someone sent an email to downstairs people to remind them that the person who takes the last cup of coffee from the pot should put more coffee brewing. Then someone forwarded the request to us upstairs people because we also use the coffee maker downstairs.

Mrs/Ms Stuck-Up sent an email to all downstairs people that they definitely can blame the upstairs people for hogging the coffee when they come downstairs for meetings. Because “upstairs it’s ‘who wants coffee, makes coffee’. Isn’t it amazing how there can be such different practices inside a workplace?” (It was better worded in the email, in Finnish.) I took it that we upstairs people don’t have any manners. Upstairs we really do make coffee when we want it, not when it’s out. M(r)s Stuck-Up didn’t realise that upstairs we don’t drink coffee non-stop and not that many people even drink coffee. (I can’t say whether some people hog the coffee downstairs. I would think so, but that’s not the point.)

I was already starting to think I had judged her too hastily but that email verified my first impression. I’ll try and not look at her too murderously.

Unicode detective

I was asked to provide translations for a couple of words in “tricky” languages and in the message it said “Unicode values will do.” Well, I can ask the translations from vendors but I started wondering about the Unicode values. It isn’t too difficult to search for the character values one by one this time but what if I needed to process bigger chunks of text?

FileFormat.info is a wonderful site — I use it all the time (at work). There you can find oodles of information on a character, and you can even enter a character, e.g. Devanagari as I did, in the search field and it really finds it! Of course there is the official Unicode site but I haven’t yet learnt to use it to my full advantage. Its best feature — in my opinion — is the ≡ information (a character is identical to another character or a combination of characters).

Macromedia Dreamweaver is quite handy in determining the HTML entity (decimal) behind a character. (I’m not actually sure if you could choose to convert the characters to HTML Hex instead.) You just paste the text in the design view and the entities appear in the code view. For this particular assignment the client eventually needs the HTML entities.

But the question is, if I needed to find out the Unicode value of each character for a big chunk of text, how would I do it?


I think it’s love at first sight. I know it’s been only about 6 months since the current one came into my life but I feel this is The One! Ever since I laid my eyes on the attractive exterior nothing else compares. I’m powerless.

I will hold on to my current one for a while to see if this new infatuation develops or if it is only fleeting. Or maybe even something better will come along.

Misfirings in the brain

Chatting with Vera, I noticed I misspelled all the time. I wrote “where I you flying on Tuesday?” without noticing it. I of course should’ve written ‘are’ instead if ‘I’. Why did I write it like that? They don’t even sound alike! In the same conversation I had written “I’m not sure why there links aren’t in exactly the same place though”.

My brain’s a bit wonky anyway. For as long as I can remember, I sometimes mix up the letters s and r when I’m writing by hand. In cursive handwriting they probably looked similar to me when we were practising it on 3rd grade (onwards) and nowadays I sometimes mix up even the normal handwriting letters and capital letters which look nothing alike.

I also confuse the words ‘orange’ and ‘purple’. I do know which is which, but sometimes I accidentally say one when I mean the other, and then it takes a while before I can find the correct word I was looking for.

Does something like this happen to you, too?

And again! “I could’ve slept this 10-11 if he hadn’t come whining behind my door at 8.” Jeez!

One step closer to kangaroos

Today I went to the police station to apply for a passport; it took a bit over half an hour to queue! I guess it’s not much, but I kept glancing at the clock because the office was closing at 4:15. I wonder if they would’ve kicked everyone out at 4:15…

I had to ask what to fill in the field “church or population register”. Was I supposed to answer either “church” or “register”, was I supposed to specify my religious affiliation (Evangelical Lutheran — it’s by birth and I haven’t bothered to leave/resign/whatever) or write down the specific church area I belong to. The clerk wrote down the church area.

When it was time to pay, the clerk swiped my card in the machine — nothing. Swiped again and again and again — nothing. My heart was racing by now and I chuckled nervously. When they ‘ho-hummed’ I was afraid there was something seriously wrong but luckily it eventually worked. Phew. I laughed and said “I wonder how that card will work abroad…” I’ll have to look into that. Darn chip cards.

The passport will be ready in about two weeks (exciting!). I hope my picture won’t be as bad as it was on the actual photo. And I hope I won’t have an extra mole on my face! (There’s a black dot in my student ID photo.)

Next step is a Visa (or ETA) I guess… (Jeez, Tourist Visa costs a lot! ETA it is.) Why does everything have to be so ambiguous? “The ETAs available on this site are not for: (…) students.” I am a student but I’m not going there to study so I hope I’m eligible. Or maybe it’s not available for students because students are unreliable and broke? :razz:

For the whole story, see category Tourist of Oz.

Why N73?

As people (or at least I) tend to rant about their crushes, I have to continue. Why am I suddenly so passionate about this gadget?

  • It’s Nokia. There is no rationality behind this. Perhaps other brands would have better price–quality ratio, I don’t know, but it has to be Nokia. If for nothing else, Nokias are in general far prettier than any of the other brands (there are some lapses: E61, 6630). Or can you show me a beautiful phone by someone else? (I do know it’s a matter of taste and I can be very stubborn.)
  • It’s S60. I’ve been itching to get an S60 phone. They’re like WordPress and Firefox: extensible and customisable.
  • Camera. I’m not a regular-camera person. It’s not something I carry around even to functions where I’d need it. I’ve been thinking of getting a digital camera but I’ve been putting it off because I don’t care for cameras. The harsh reality is, however, cameras are useful even if I don’t like being on the flash-side of them.
  • Lens cover. My 6101 is all sticky and there’re probably a few layers of fingerprints on the lens.
  • Infrared. I don’t know if there are phones that have only Bluetooth and not infrared, but I’ve just bought (and the trouble I had finding it!) an infrared adapter so I don’t want to make it useless so soon. It says in some places that the N73 package includes a datacable so maybe I don’t need the adapter — I’m happy as long as I don’t need to find+buy yet another connection device for my computer.
  • Snakes!!! Is it true?! The interactive demo says Snakes is one of the games. Hurraah!

Only minus (without any hands-on experience) is that it isn’t a fold phone.

Now, I’m not telling you to go buy the phone because I don’t want to see one walk past me on the street too often. (That’s the biggest turn-off for 6101 — I see it everywhere!) I’m just desperately trying to justify to myself the stack of money I’m going to lose for it some day… :) I guess I can indulge for a change? (Don’t remind me that I still have the plane tickets to buy…)

A bit of a candid camera moment

This morning on my way to work I went to the grocery store as usual to buy some lunch. All summer I’ve bought only cold food like wraps or sandwiches, and so today I got a sandwich with salmon. I was on my way out when I noticed I didn’t have a small plastic bag with me so I took one from a check-out counter. I stepped outside and happily put the sandwich box in the bag — it slipped right through! I was baffled for an instant, picked up the sandwich, and walked on hoping nobody saw that.

Things you shouldn’t hear from a tech support

Today our latest tech support addition (probably/hopefully just for this summer) was doing something on Adobe Framemaker. I overheard him telling our DTP specialist that the program had given a message about something like “uninstall all TrueType fonts to continue” so he was asking what to do about that. He continued “I guess I can uninstall them because the program said so.”


The only way is up

In senior high (or 10th grade) we got a 3-year assignment to write down and review with a point system of our choice every book we read. This was probably a sub-assignment to reading ten Finnish classics.

My memory in these sort of things (what I’ve read, what movie I’ve seen, what did that character say in that series, what did I do yesterday, what did I just say…) is infamously bad and because I like reading, I took liking to this routine. So, since 1998 I’ve written down every book I’ve read except for the books I read for school (unless we’ve had to read them cover-to-cover and only when I’ve remembered to write them down…).

The most embarrassing year was 2001 when I only read four books. I did have my finals, entrance exam to University, and my first year of Uni then so I guess I can forgive myself. In 2003 and 2004 I read twenty-seven books which I haven’t been able to top yet. I guess that was thanks to my half an hour bus ride to/from work. Last year I read only thirteen books which was kind of embarrassing (after the twenty-seven of previous years, at least!) but yesterday as I finished reading Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation I reached thirteen. It is not humanly possible that I don’t finish a single book in the remainder of the year so — luckily — from now on the only way is up!

I just don’t have anything to say right now

I had received the following spam comment which was sort of refreshing after the “Hi Jane! I like your site!”, “Best site I ever seen!”, “May we exchange links” comments that come in the dozens.

I’m really stupid
Yestarday I’ve got married and
today Im going make money online
So stupid
O-O-_ohh Mein Gott really you can see

Mein Gott, I’m so glad to have spam blocks.

I don’t really understand what this means:

Your site is very cognitive. I think you will have good future.:)

What is a ‘cognitive’ site?

But this is the most idiotic of all:

I just don’t have anything to say right now.