Camera not (completely) broken

Diana Mini

Diana Mini

It looks like all is not lost with my Diana Mini camera. Although I managed to snap the shutter lever off a couple of weeks ago, I think this camera is usable. Good job I didn’t throw it away or buy another one.

I had one of those mad moments when I dismantle something with precision screwdrivers, and then when I’ve got a pile of tiny screws and springs (some of which are somewhere on the floor now), realise I have no idea how they went together, even though I was telling myself that I was being really careful and observant… This time was different, I managed to put it back together so it worked, or at least was only as broken as when I started.

There’s no hope for the shutter lever, I could try super-gluing it, but I don’t imagine it would last very long. I did manage to loosen the cable release mechanism enough to get it working, though. You can’t gently squeeze it and expect the shutter to trip, you have to use a bit of pressure and speed, but at least it’s not going to give you camera shake like the stiff lever was prone to do. So… it works, and I can take photos with it. Result.

I just need a slightly shorter cable release, now, so I don’t look quite so silly using a release cable on a tiny plastic box.


Deaf in 1½ Ears

I’ve had a pretty miserable couple of weeks, with my ears. A few weeks ago sound became muffled and weirdly booming, and for one night I was totally deaf in my left ear.

On the advice of my doctor, I put drops of olive oil in, in order to soften the wax. That made me deaf in my left ear again, as in completely deaf to any sound. As my relaxation method of choice is to listen to (or make) music, this was definitely bad news. I was slightly nervous, what if it wasn’t wax at all but instead my eardrum was buggered?

Sometimes the hearing came back for a while, or I could hear weird fluttering noises  deep in my ear canal – was something living in there?!

At one point my left ear could hear nothing above 100Hz (low traffic rumble, mostly) and my right ear could hear nothing below 3.5kHz, so if I tried to listen to music it felt like someone was trying to twist my head in two. It also made conversation pretty frustrating.

Finally my appointment with the nurse came around, I had a water-squirting device rammed deep into my ear and the nurse managed to dislodge a brown disc the size of a Jaffa cake.¹

Hoorah! My hearing is now restored!




¹ Ok, a slight exaggeration



Curse My Tonsils!

I wish I’d had my tonsils out when I was smaller, it would have saved a lot of bother. I think it’s pretty rare to have tonsils removed these day, especially in an adult, so unless they go really bad I suppose I’m stuck with them.

My throat has been giving me problems all year, every month or so my throat feels rough and the glands around my neck swell up. At worst – and this past couple of weeks have been most unpleasant – I feel like my sinuses are about to explode. Or maybe the back of my head disintegrate. Or similar. And this is all caused by my tonsils, it appears.

A visit to the quack-shack¹ revealed that I have Cryptic Tonsils, which in English means ‘bloody big holes in the tonsils’. I had visions of deeply unpleasant things going on, but it seems fairly harmless, if uncomfortable.

I googled ‘tonsils’ to find a picture, and there are some nightmare tonsil pictures out there, so I don’t think my tonsils are all that bad.

¹ The doctor’s. Dr. Maurice is not a quack, btw. Taken from an episode of Brass Eye when someone describes an expensive Harley Street practise as a ‘top-whack quack shack’, which amused me.

Phones Don’t Bounce

This will probably be dropped in 5 minutes

It wonderful what mobile phones can do these days, and the designs of even the cheapest  smart phones are sleek and beautiful. This is the problem, as ‘sleek and beautiful’ does not translate into ‘difficult to drop’. They are almost all rounded  and smooth, which is just a recipe for dropping phone on the floor, or accidentally throwing it against a wall when taking it out of your pocket too quickly.

Of course you can buy skins for your phone to protect it and make it easier to grip, but this defeats the object of having a beautifully designed phone in the first place .

I don’t know what the answer is, but surely if they can put a man on the moon* they can fix this. But they probably can’t fix this:


*Ok, they’ve not done it in a while, but the technology is there.

You weren’t in when we called…



These are so annoying.

In this instance I was expecting the parcel by normal postman (and so I could have collected it from the sorting office later if he’d called while I was at work) but no, he comes this morning. Also I was lead to believe it would take 3 or 4 days, not 1 day. They don’t even give you a chance, do they?

I could have asked the lass in the shop below my flat to sign for it – she’s really helpful like that – but shop doesn’t open until 11, the parcel people got here at 10:30. Which is JUST BLOODY TYPICAL.

Someone needs to come up with a better system, one that works. And they will become very very rich, and people will write songs about their achievements, and songs about not having to piss about for 3 days to get a simple box delivered, and then sit in all day waiting for the doorbell…

That’s it for lager and me

That’s it for me and lager. I prefer ale anyway, but I’ve come to the point where I just can’t be bothered with that pale fizzy stuff anymore.

I only really bought it because it’s generally quite cheap (although it looks like that is changing*) but it has to be drunk really cold because otherwise it’s not exactly tasty. I’d rather have a cup of tea. Or a glass of Shiraz.


*(The minimum unit price the government is bringing in will increase the price of 15 x 275ml bottles – pictured – from £8.99 to a less reasonable £13.50, which is more than I am prepared to pay for something I don’t really like all that much anyway).

A Right Mess

My room is in a right state. A lot of that  is my PC, which is playing up and I am trying to troubleshoot, which is edging out into the room day by day. Currently it occupies the bit under my desk where my legs go, so I am typing this in a slightly uncomfortable position.

Until I get that sorted out, the rest of the stuff is sort of … everywhere.  I’ve had a case of beer since the weekend, and those bottles need to be taken to the recycle point. The clean laundry is folded, just not put away. ‘Clean my desk’ has been on my to-do list for about a month now, and nothing has happened.

If I put my mind to it, and stop playing with the novelty of having a proper internet connection, I could get this all sorted THIS AFTERNOON.  So I shall…


Losing the will to live (with network troubleshooting)

There’s nothing like spending two hours trying to troubleshoot a wireless network for spoiling my afternoon, and sucking all the joy and happiness out of the world.

I thought the USB WiFi dongle might be faulty, so I bought a WiFi PCI card (which was on special offer) confident that this would work, and I could take the ‘faulty’ one back for a refund.

What happened: A connection that died on me ever hour or so (last week) became one that cut out on me about once a minute (this week) and I ended up with a PC that wouldn’t connect to the router at all (today).

I am not a happy bunny.




I’m fed up of writer’s block. I was hoping to spend my free afternoons (I work an early shift) and alcohol-free evenings (I’m spending January ‘dry’) productively. I am going to read, write (maybe) and make music. It’s not going to plan.

Maybe it’s the insomnia, or maybe I’m just out off practice, but I’m just not getting any ideas right now.

At least when creativity strikes, I’ll  be ready for it…

(… He said, trying to put a positive spin on it…)

Running: What you need to start

When I was about to start  running, and was waiting for my disgusting multiple ingrowing toenails to heal (really, there would have been massive bloodloss if I’d tried running before they got operated on) I researched running on the internet. It’s the kind of thing the web is for.

some running feet. not mine, though

Almost every site said something along the lines of

‘The most important thing for someone to start running, is that they get a proper running top with ‘wicking’ technology that draws the sweat away from the body’. And some expensive running shoes.

And I thought – rubbish! The first thing someone needs to do is actually get off the sofa and run around the block. Yes, in the end, if they persevere, they will need some ‘wicking’ tops, and some good running shoes. But the most important thing for them to do is  go for that first run, even if it’s a 5 minute wheeze around the block in the evening when it’s dark and the neighbours won’t see them. They’re not likely to get that sweaty in 3 minutes.

It can be hard enough to motivate yourself to start something like this, without feeling that you’ve got to spend lots of money first.