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My only contribution to this is to point out how cute the photo of (presumably) the original poster's cat sitting on his newspaper is :).

Panic over

Feb. 18th, 2011 11:49 pm
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I've checked out the actual cholesterol results.

Normal/ideal for total cholesterol is 5.0 mmol/L or less and HDL 3.0 or less.

My levels are 5.1 and 3.2 respectively. So, given that 5 years ago mine were well below that, time for some changes (like skimmed milk on muesli instead of scrambled egg bap for breakfast) but I can still have my cheese sarnies.

The EU dairy product industry will breathe a sigh of relief.

And who knows, I might even lose a little weight....

I won't be buying that dress just yet btw. I get my next quarterly dividend from my company end March, so no major clothing purchases before then (ie my one man company ispaid monthly but I can really only take money out once a quarter, it'sless flexible than self-employment.)
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Dear Enda Kenny,

Thank you for taking something as important to me as my native language, and propose to throw it in the dustbin for short-term electoral gain of the most cynical variety. Short version of post: FUCK YOU.

rant and lecture from your's truly, and not As Gaeilge )
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Just realised my last post was public, oops, will hide it due to the personal info in it. I am feeling a bit less paranoid though so am now able to do the occasional public post.

I have made an appointment with Medicentre tomorrow morning for a blood test to check thyroid again (including t3 and t4), vit D and for anaemia. I get my lithium levels checked by them usually and then I send them to my NHS GP.

I should have the results by Friday evening.

It's almost certainly just a side effect of the lothium, but may as well check and rule out anyway.
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I have done a cull of my friends list. My paranoia is pretty bad right now and having a lot of people I don't know on my list is doing my head in. So don't take it personally if you're one, its not because I don't like you. Honest. I have also removed some people whose lj appears to have been abandoned. If you actually read regularly and just never post, and I have removed you and you want back in, let me know.

I am making this post public to be polite to those I removed.


Feb. 2nd, 2011 10:49 pm
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Finally the saga of my London broadband is at an end. Today my rubbish non-isp gave me my MAC transfer code and I have signed up with aaisp, effective immediately. They are, apparently, very good and one of their terms and conditions is " the internet is a big plac if you find things you don't like don't sue us".

And the auto-generated pdf manual has a photo of a cat on the front!

I don't have my laptop with me, but I'll test it out on Monday when I am back down. Hopefully an end to baffling Autocomplete errors everywhere but intra-day Facebook updates.

The only problem is my name is associated with the ip addresses but it seems I can change that. Their instructions are a bit cryptic so will ring about that on Monday.( otherwise anyone on line who logs ip addresses will know my rather unusual name. Potential catastrophe for job hunting if anyone links them publicly with my mental health activist persona here.
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I got interrupted by a text msg while packing my gym bag so I am now here having shown up without padlock (borrowed one from reception), toiletries (they supply some but my hair is funny) or..... long sleeved tshirt to go under the ballgown over the jeans. So now my cleavage is very definitely on show. Oh well, what's the worst that could happenn, eh? I'm wearing my nice pink Freya bra after all.

I have arranged my scarf so I look a little less daft.

Somebody had shoved a load of Pret napkins into my mail pigeonhole. For a minute I thought this was some sort of aggressive gesture aimed at me then realised it was probably the postman or janitor shoving them somewhere out of the way where there wasn't any post.

I did complete my workout however. So good for me.... must remember NOT to be so enthusiastic about the leg exercises in a gym that has STAIRS to exit. Ouch.
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One of my cats. They seem so happy and serene. And relaxed :).
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 Some of you may notice that I have made all entries prior to 1st Sep 2010 private. This is because I will soon be looking for a new client/job after this job is finished, and I am worried that some day all my entries will end up linked to my name on google. It's not enough of a risk for me to stop posting publicly - my mental health benefits way too much for me to stop doing that given the low level of risk - but my old posts are of little interest to anyone but me.

I have gotten over my desire to selectively delete old posts. That was mania looking for a home organising task to do.

If for any reason there was anything you had a link or bookmark to (list of things to do in NYC in  2006 for example), let me know and I'll unprivate the entry. I'm not so big headed to think that anyone would be bothered, but I maintain links to travel-related posts on other peoples' LJs, so in case anyone else is a travel magpie like me....
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 Am currently playing Paradise Lost's Draconian Times nice and loud on the stereo to ensure DH is familiar with every track on the album before we see them play it live on April 1st. I have concluded that black and white kitty likes goth metal. Rock on dudes!

BTW remember that band Mists of Avalon from Finland, another goth metal outfit who played Whitby in, oh, 2000? They did sod-all from 2001  to 2009 but have a new album out. I sense that that album will rapidly be making its way to Scotland. They have one gig planned, in Uppsala in Sweden, their home town, this December, which makes me think that the band members are busy with regular jobs and kids and stuff these days. The album Here and After, which I bought at Whitby, was amazing.

Last night's double cpz plus 13 hours of sleep worked a treat and I was no longer manic, but loud metal is making me manic now. I think double meds again tonight on the train...
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 As you will have gathered I STILL don't have broadband in my London flat, hence the lack of entries from me. I have been busy all week with the rest of my to-do list that accumulated over 3 months of being knackered before xmas. Since I started using those breathing strips there's been a huge jump in my quality of sleep. I'm still tired most of the time, but I feel morerefreshed and I'm not quite so crushingly bushed after lunch at work every day. I'm also finding that since I went on holiday I am not as tired during and after my weekly PT sessions - so there has been another minor improvement there.

<lj-cut text="mostly about hypomania and CBT">
Today I did my weekly business paperwork (and paid myself my monthly salary, printed out my payslip, and prepared my next invoice for sending). I am hypomanic this weekend due to quite a lot of stress at work during the week. Most of this stress is the usual software release date approaching fast stress that goes with my job, but I still need to watch out for how the mania is affecting me.

I tend to get a vicious circle of something irritates me, and because of the hypomania it irritates me a LOT and I obsess about it, so I get more worked up, which makes me more manic, which makes it irritate me even more... and if I had no self-awareness I would walk around shouting at everyone all day. However, with my CBT stick of doom, I am able to recognise this cycle and stop it before it starts. I then concentrate on simply observing and experiencing the irritation as an unpleasant sensation, but taking no further action. This is actually quite tricky to do as fresh sources of irritation creating new cycles appear constantly, but I've had a lot of practice. It doesn't remove all the mania-related stress amplification  - but makes it possible for me to behave normally and do my job although I am stressed up the wazoo (don't worry, this is normal in IT projects and things will be fine once we have completed this part of the job and we move on to the next - no-one is being mean or unreasonable).

So, major pat on back for me for being able to deal with my hypomania in such a constructive way. The other way is daytime chlorpromazine, not compatible with work unless boss is happy for me to snooze under my desk all day. I have also now recognised exactly how increased stress leads to increased mania, and can take steps in future to ensure when I know I am going to be stressed that I don't go out much and spend a lot of time lying down in order to calm the mania down. I will be taking double cpz tonight and going to bed for a nice long snooze.

As it's the weekend I need to not listen to that thundering horde of ideas up top that is telling me to reorganise all the cupboards, refold all the towels so they are pointing the same way, re-alphabetise my vinyl collection etc etc and just DO NOTHING. Since I love organising things it's not as if the place is a tip anyway, and I keep again using the CBT stick and telling myself that no matter how many impulses to be active I get, I must simply observe them and think hmmmm, ignore that - if I stay sitting down or lying down, however frantic I might feel, I am helping myself far more than if I also act on those thoughts. I know from past experience that this works.  I know that I do actually have to inventory the contents of the flat to check that we are not underinsured, so this is at the front of my mind nagging me, but that can wait a few weeks til I am no longer hypomanic. *swats thought AGAIN with insectocuter* *bzzzt FRY*. Good.

It also helps to tell myself that I can't do anything about being hypomanic, so not to beat myself up about it, but calm down and wait for it to pass, as it usually does.

However I do recommend eating jaffa cakes while doing so. 
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The ISP didn't get back to me, apart from one of their customer service people being obnoxious with me on the phone on Tuesday. So I have hunted down the name of the CEO and am sending my follow up to his office:

<lj-cut text="stroppy letter under here">
Dear Mr [redacted],
I have not yet received a reply from your company regarding my letter, sent recorded delivery and also via email to Customer Service, of Jan 15th, 2011, regarding my account cancellation, so I am addressing this letter to you rather than to Customer Services.

I have had no broadband service since I signed up with [redacted] in mid-November and as a result am legally entitled to cancel my service without penalty, something that Customer Services appear to be having some difficulty with. I requested a reply to my letter within 5 working days. I have not received any such reply as yet.

I did call your customer service line on Jan 25th at 14:30 and spoke to [redacted]. We had a conversation that lasted almost 30 minutes, during which she made a number of factual errors, which I now wish to set straight.

She stated that I had made no effort to contact your technical department: untrue
It is not the case that I have ignored repeated requests to contact your technical department about the connectivity issue. In fact, I called your technical support line on several occasions in December and January:
  • Wed Dec 1st, at 18:21, duration 9.27 minutes: discussion about the various routers I had tried and what to do next. At this point your technical team said they did not know what the cause of the authentication error was.
  • Tue Dec 14th: I rang your customer support department to cancel, who suggested I contact technical support again to discuss the connectivitiy issue, which I did: at 17.27, call duration 24;54 minutes.
  • Fri Dec 17th: at 8.53, call duration 8:45 minutes, further discussion with your technical department.
  • Jan 6th: at 08:01, duration 08:38, resulting in a callout of a BT engineer. Your technical department made it clear that my agreeing to the BT engineer callout did not prejudice my cancellation as BT own the physical line.

She stated that there was no record of no service on the line: untrue
On more than one occasion your support engineers have remarked that you have quite a long description of my connectivity issue in your system. You also eventually had to call out a BT engineer in early January – this indicates that the issue had not been resolved at this point.

(page break here)
She stated that it was up to you and your internal procedures whether or not to “release” me from contract: untrue
The 1982 Supply Of Services Act states that if a service is not provided with due care and skill (which in this case, it has not been – it has not been provided at all) I am in fact entitled to a full refund and you are certainly not entitled to charge me anything further. This supersedes your internal procedures as my statutory rights take precedence.

So, I will restate my requests from the previous letter:
  • You will refund me the service charge for Nov/Dec 2010 as no service was provided.
  • You will refund me the cost of the router you initially sold me.
  • I will send the router back to you by recorded delivery to the address of your choosing.
  • You will refrain from charging me for Dec/Jan, when there was no service either, and any late fees resulting from my not paying this charge.
  • You will waive the 300 pound cancellation charge.
  • You will send me a letter or email stating that you have done the above and that I am not liable for any further charges from you.
  • You will do all of the above within 28 days.
  • You will respond to this letter within 5 working days of receipt.

Furthermore, I wish to conduct all further correspondence on this subject in writing – email or print – only.

I look forward to hearing from you..

Yours Sincerely,

Dr actionreplay aka that PhD comes in handy when complaining 'bout stuff...

The reason I want the letter saying I don't owe them anything further is that I don't trust them not to fuck it up and then automatically turn my non-debt over to a collection agency. If that happens, I will have my "no, she doesn't owe us any money" letter or email from them.
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I want to go back, view my old entries and then delete most of those pre-2006. (worry about LJ going bust and the servers ending up in unwanted hands etc). Do I have to do this using the painful entry by entry delete function?
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Iron Maiden are touring the UK this summer and we have tickets for the Newcastle gig!!!! \o/ \o/
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I posted a large number of notes about mental illness on facebook, but a few days ago I transferred them all to a google archive and removed them due to uneasiness at their privacy attitude. Today a friend contacted me and asked if I still had copies, as a relative was ill and might find them handy. This means that leaving them up there probably has been useful to people, and not just a monument to my ego. I am pleased.
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I was going to write a long and detailed entry but I am now lying on the sofa with ginger kitty on my lap...
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This is a furniture repair/DIY query that is relevant to Edinburgh as I'd be interested in knowing where in Edinburgh I can findthe relevant products/tradesmen to fix.

I have an antique walnut writing desk that I inherited from my gran. It has a small handle on the front for opening and closing a curved top. The small handle is secured to the wood by a screw, which has now come out as the wood has worn away a bit and so the hole is too big for the screw.

With a piece of IKEA furniture, I'd just get a suitable wooden dowel, glue it in, sand it down and drill, but with an antique I don't really want to do that! (as the item has value).

Does anyone know what the best course of action would be and if so, a) do I need to call in some sort of specialist firm, b) if I need plastic wood for this where would I get it (B&Q seem to do generic wood filler only), or other?

I am really hoping that the answer is not "you need a specialist antique repairer, try X&Y from Sighthill" but if necessary I will do that...

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.


Jan. 20th, 2011 04:15 pm
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I have bought some " breathe right" anti-snoring nasal strips to see if this will help with my not feeling refreshed in the morning, and the snoring as well, followed by them being recommended by an lj friend. Fingers crossed they will help...
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Went for my follow-up appointment at the Royal Infirmary gynocology outpatients and everything is fine. Move along now cells, nothing to see here. Good. I was not worried but my mum can calm down now.

Then I had a nap, and then was very productive. I sorted out the paperwork drawer.

paperwork )
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