redwineisinstock: (Criminal Minds - Reid)
After much prompting, here is my tale of woe about iTunes, and the evil company in a red cloak!

Once upon a time, there was a girl who got home on a Friday night after a long weeks work. She decided to check her email. Strangely enough, she found some receipts from iTunes. What ho, she thought, I haven't purchased anything from iTunes in a while. Never mind, I shall open the receipt and see what the problem is.

Oh no, she cried, as she realised there was £40 pounds of expenditure on iphone apps and oh dear she cried as she realised the receipt was in Chinese!

But how, she wondered, as she attempted to access her iTunes account. Oh hell, she swore (she's a modern fairytale heroine after all) as she noticed all words were now in Chinese.

After weeping at the credit card company, who were very nice and promised to protect her from the evil company in a red cloak, she then attempted to talk to the evil company. No phone numbers were to be found, only email addresses. While waiting for her well written tale of woe to be answered by the evil company in the red cloak, she attempted to get her account back to English.

Ah ah, she cried, an hour later, after finally wrestling the account back. Take that, she said, as she deleted her credit card information - not an easy task at all, as the evil company in the red cloak insisted on having that information.

Hmmmm, she said - as many emails went back and forth from the evil company in the red cloak. How is such a thing possible, she asked, how could my country be changed, but the credit card information stay the same?

Must be you, not sure, hacked, nasty people, here's how to change password, don't blame us, use gift cards, said the very very polite evil company in a red cloak.

So, the moral of this tale is, don't trust the evil company in a red cloak with your credit card, because they will be sod all use when it gets hacked.

The end
redwineisinstock: (Criminal Minds - Reid)
I win! Made to the m25 in 30 mins. Course, I did have to give up 30 mins of sleep to be on the road at 6.15 but I still win.

This post brought to you courtesy of the interminable roadworks on the M3. My 90 minute journey yesterday (usual journey time 25 mins) was made even more fun by driving past the roadwork people sleeping in their various trucks etc. I could tell they were sleeping because I was not driving faster than 10 miles an hour.

I made rude gestures at them. 90 MINS!!! I felt guilty afterwards, then realised they were asleep so hadn't seen. I fancy that the people around me cheered, rather than assumed I was a crazy person.
redwineisinstock: (Criminal Minds - Reid)
I just got an email from TomTom, advertising a valentines gift. Hmm, I thought, this should be amusing.

I quote:- Our unique 'I'd be lost without you' package contains a TomTom Start with a Flaming Red cover, with a matching carry bag, a home charger and a exclusive set of hotel, restaurant and shopping addresses for you to explore further.

I'd be lost without you! seriously. wow. way to be 1970's tomtom. also, matching carry bag? shopping addresses?

I'm assuming that they meant to send this to the male half of the valentine.

I think I shall send this to Gadgettes, as suitable punishment.

OTOH perhaps it's just me. Do men now like matching red carry bags for their sat navs? I'll admit, fashion isn't my thing, I may have missed it. I shall expect to see fashionable men, with their man bags and red satnav carry cases any time now. And then I shall feel embarrassed that mine is still in it's original case.

Is the lack of a mocking or sarcastic mood because that's now the assumed default on LJ?


Feb. 1st, 2010 07:50 pm
redwineisinstock: (G&T)
So, in a new experience for me, 30 seconds after leaving work today, I got pulled over for speeding by a nice police lady :-( 40 in a 30 zone, which is fair enough, I'm usually really good about not speeding in the low zones, and I really hadn't realised that it was 30. Not sure why it took 2 cars to corral me in - perhaps I looked scary or something.

I ended up having a conversation with a cop in the second car (while the cop in the first car wrote up the ticket) about New Zealand and his trip there in two weeks. Guess it's true, Kiwis can make friends anywhere these days.

So traffic school for me. In a weird way, I'm looking forward to it. It feels like one of those things that everyone has to go through. I may not be feeling this way at hour two.

Damn, there is no speeding mood! We'll go with rushed.

ETA: Am now kicking myself that I didn't take the offer to sit inside the police car and ogle all the tech though.
redwineisinstock: (Default)
So, I'm reading meta commentary on the Season 5 Criminal Minds episodes - my latest fascination and there is a link to a fan vid. The fan vid uses a song I've heard before and liked, but has no reference to the song.

Step 1. Lyric search the two words I can remember from the song. Find song
Step 2. Go to spotify, play song, confirm correct song
Step 3. Go to amazon, find song, buy song

Step 4 - song is mine!

Total elapsed time - 10 minutes

Oh internet, you make my life so much better. Just not my bank account.
redwineisinstock: (Default)
Man, this first post business is stressful. I want to be witty and intelligent and erudite. I suspect I shall be none of those things.

However, I shall womanfully press on, and see if it gets easier after another glass of wine - the journal title is a bit of a hint. I post after wine, never before. I need to distract the internal censor somehow.


Jan. 23rd, 2009 10:04 pm
redwineisinstock: (Default)
Note to self. must post more often

So, status update. Am currently working 110 miles away from home at a University. Doing IT consulting that is easy, but interesting, and the team is very happy to have me there. Makes a nice change from being at my actual office, where they mostly ignore me. I have deep suspicions that work has undersold me again, but since they are paying for an apartment, all travel costs, and a nice 'being away from home' fee, I'm making more money, and keeping my job, so I forgive them.

This university turns out to be one of the ones I investigated quite some time ago for a MBA. Since I'm there, I thought I'd go along and check it out. Am so far undecided on if its a good idea or not. It's a lot of work, and while I firmly believe a MBA will get you more interviews, it won't get you a job. Having said that, I give good interview, and give horrific intro letters, so more interviews is a good thing. Also, only 25% women. I feel a need to go be loud, bolshy and female at them.

Of course, if I did a MBA, I'd have to take a leave of absence from the interwebs. Is there a 12 step program for that yet?

In other far more interesting news, the state of my wine cellar (the wine stacked in the garage) is pitiful. Laithwaites to the rescue. (wine society website so far scares me, I think I shall have to call them instead) 4 1/2 cases on their way, one case put together by their absolutely awesome customer service. For those thinking that is a lot of wine, it's not really. I put down all reds for at least 2 years, so I need to keep at least 100 bottles in the garage at any one time.

And just got my welcome to Amnesty International mail, with big pink letters - "You're annoying" Points for using the apostrophe correctly, and a great way to get my attention. First reaction - Damn, there goes that New Years resolution. Am looking into IT volunteering, where a charity gets the use of my IT skills rather than just time.

Watched the inaguration, but given the speed at which President Obama is moving, that feels like weeks ago. Does that man ever sleep? Needless to say, I'm seriously impressed so far.

There, thats a post and then some. Now onto actually answering other peoples posts!
redwineisinstock: (Default)
It's always hard as a non US citizen to comment on North American politics. However, I've spent at least 2 years living in various parts of the US, and one of those years living with a black family in North Carolina. That opened my eyes to the extent racism still exists in the States, so I thought it very unlikely that Obama would get in. Much like many of the polls reported in the last few days, I really thought that people would change their vote when it actually came down to it.

I'm really really pleased I was wrong. The shot of Jesse Jackson in tears at Obama's acceptance speech had me in tears.

Now I just have to figure out who to vote for in the NZ elections. Yah for postal voting!

New icon

Nov. 1st, 2008 12:13 am
redwineisinstock: (Default)
So, a company I've visted (how's that for specific!) has a Dalek in reception. I'm informed it is real. From the looks of it, probably not current Dr Who, but older (that's definitely a plunger) And when I got there the other day, it had ballons. Pink ballons.

I nearly died laughing, and I was absolutely not leaving without a photo. About the only time I've ever actually used the camera on my phone.
redwineisinstock: (Default)
Today is a perfect example of why I need to be busy and interested at work. Morning meeting at sister company site, 1 & 1/2 hours away (assuming the M1 doesn't fall over). Was a great meeting, although being dropped into a meeting with the CEO and figuring out he was the CEO halfway through the meeting was well, interesting. I managed to keep the kiwi humour under control, so all is well.

And then, got home and sorted out two items that have been on my to do list since I bought the new car in June. Confirmation that no, I can't buy a new tomtom stand from anyone but tomtom. And two, it's going to cost me a bit, but it is possible to put a ipod adaptor into the car, and I have a place that will do it.

Too much time is absolutely fatal for me. (great for fic reading though)


Sep. 8th, 2008 07:59 pm
redwineisinstock: (Default)
Am back from Tuscany! Had a wonderful relaxing time, (in 33 degrees, there really isn't much else you can do but rest)

The villa was great and unexpectedly came with 10 farm cats. (well, technically 5 kittens, 2 half grown kitagers, and 3 adult cats) The kitagers pegged us immediately as suckers and adopted us for the duration. As they are farm cats, this was alternately fun (watching them try to figure out the mosquito net in front of the door was hilarious ) and not fun (stealing food right from our hands) One of the kitagers was easily one of the more beautiful cats I had ever seen. white, fluffy, beautiful blue eyes. However, she had a miaow like a dying seagull. It sounded like we were killing her! very disconcerting to wake up too. We only saw the 5 kittens once, when they came to play, but they were not terribly domesticated and wanted nothing to do with us ( although they enjoyed the leaves on the trees very much) so cute! the adult cats took a bit longer to come play, but also figured out the sucker potential early on.

The villa itself was lovely, with a very nice pool. The villa was almost at the top of a very deep valley, so we had lovely views. The pool was wonderful and had a wee raised area, just perfect for sitting in the evening with a gin and tonic watching the sun set and righting the problems of the world. (compulsory military service, yes or no?)

However, 33 degrees is hot. Way way too hot to sightsee. We went to San Giamano, and I found myself saying, well, there is clearly an area 50 meters away that has stunning views. however, its in the sun. I'm in the shade. View, shade, view, shade. I'll stay in the shade thanks. I couldn't even shop!

so, dear reader, that tragically meant many days languishing by the pool. oh woe is me. My tan has never looked better. Of course its 17 degrees in the UK, thereby giving me no chance to show it off

I did manage to do a bit of shopping. J and I stumbled on a shop in Arazzo with a wonderful sales assistant who despite her having fairly limited english, and us definitely having limited italian, managed to find a lot of clothes I liked. she just kept bringing stuff out! tragic. (although finding out later that the only UK stockist is Harrods bought a warm glow of bargain!!!!)

Less success in Florence, after chasing down errant husbands, convincing vacillating friends into shopping and really bad coat stores, no joy in a Italian coat. Ah well, will have to suffer my plain English one again. Funny moment, getting strange looks while ranting down the phone at said errant husband. If even the Italian's think you are OTT, then I guess it's time to cool it.

However, as motivation to lose some weight! I have promised myself a shopping trip in Florence if I get to my goal weight and stay there for at least a month.

Photos to follow as soon as i steal them from friends better at taking them than me (not the special ones, M, I promise) Wait, that sounds bad. I meant, not the ones that you spent ages trying to get right, because those should be yours to gloat over alone.

K&J you were missed. Next year south of France anyone?

Ok, just a few cat photos then. No one can mind some cat photos right! (or not, because LJ doesn't want to let me, and I so can't be bothered with it right now)
redwineisinstock: (Default)
My hairdresser is leaving me. He is not only leaving the hairdressing place, but actually leaving the country. Moving back home to Milan (not even for a great haircut could I come up with a convincing arguement for staying in england over Milan)

Now, you would think this is not terrible news. But you see, I view getting a haircut from a new hairdresser as a far more unpleasant task than the dentist. When I moved to Britain and realised that the hairdressers over here had no idea how to cut my hair, I just stopped getting it cut. For 5 years. Hair was down to my lower back. And it took me 6 months to trust this guy long enough to get my current haircut which is the shortest it has ever been in my life.

My hair does two things really well, and thats it. It grows really fast, and it grows straight. You cannot style, blowdry, coax it into a shape. Well, the hairdressers can, but once I wash it, that leaves me looking like they put a bowl on my head and cut round it (I kid you not, there are photos to prove it) My lovely hairdresser understood that you had to cut my hair the way you want it to go.

He has left his little brother behind. So I'm left with a choice. Trust the little brother, or find someone else. I believe I will need some hand holding next month. Why me!
redwineisinstock: (Default)
So, in the last week I've signed up for,, snooth and delicious. And twitter a couple of weeks ago. This is getting silly. I was the one saying I was much too old to sign up for this stuff, that web whatever wasn't for me. But so far they have mostly passed the usefullness test. has a 50% hit rate for suggesting new artists at me, just based on my itunes collection, which is all over the place. I can only assume it will get better. Twitter is turning out to be fairly compulsive, and useful. Snooth (it's a wine listing and recommendation site ) might be good, too early to tell yet.

What happened to me having a mostly inactive LJ and no interest in this stuff!

Actually I know what happened and I know just who to blame. It's all your fault.

And I found myself having a conversation at work about user generated content sites and how to learn from them in the document management system world. Oh the shame!
redwineisinstock: (Default)
So, this has been one of the strangest weeks I can remember. Accio on the weekend was wonderful, and I met lots of lovely people, some of whom have even followed me home to my very boring LJ. And I was confident and willing to engage in conversations with strangers and all sorts of behaviour mostly unlike me (unless there is gin involved)

And then I came back to work. And returned a call from what I was sure was a recruiting agent, probably calling to tell me he (it's always he) had the perfect job, that used none of my skills, paid less that I was on, and was a 2 month contract.

Took me 5 minutes into the conversation to realise I was talking to the MD of a small management consulting firm, that had been sitting on my cv for 6 months waiting for the right opportunity to hire me. This kind of thing does NOT happen to me. For starters, my CV is eclectic to say the least, and getting a job has been more about getting around it then actually using it. Secondly, it's an area in which I have limited experience, and that never happens either.

So, I have met with MD, said the right things, and am now waiting to hear back. Its a risk, but I think I'll take it if offered.

In the middle of all of this, I went for my Nationality Checking service interview, second step in getting a UK passport. I was expecting disorgansation, overworked people, perfunctory service. I got organised happy staff, willing to reassure me and willing to go the extra mile to help, all for the price of £50. I recommend the service highly.

And, to top it all off, had my first day back at head office today (have been on client site since joining the company) Lovely people, but I'm really not sure this is the right firm for me. (now, would I be thinking that if I hadn't had a potential job offer!)

Well, at least I'm not bored!
redwineisinstock: (Default)
Went to a concert last night, courtsey of daisee chain. I would put a link in, but apparently Southbank Centre's web hosting is ruthless about deleting details about past events. Anyway, it was the Budapest Festival Orchestra performing Stravinksy and Dvorak.

I hadn't heard Dvorak before, and I liked it, but it wasn't memorable. The Cello Concerto and the cello soloist were wonderful, and the flautist was equally great.

But the Stravinsky! I'm now firmly convinced that it takes a East European orchestra to do him justice. The first piece was wonderful, the strings did a great job. But the finale was my favourite piece of classical music, the Firebird Suite, and it was beautiful. They got slightly out of time in what is commonly known as 'that fast bit' but recovered nicely and the finale was breathtaking. There were actual tears.

However, they need to work on the triangle. It was incredibly noisy, and frankly, when listening to sweeping strings and mournful wind, having a damn TRIANGLE over the top is just wrong, wrong, wrong. And he never ever got it right, every time it was too loud. The addition of the tuba to the piece, on the other hand, was wonderful, and pairing it with the double basses was a genius move.

And now I want to hear the Russian National Orchestra perform Stravinsky.
redwineisinstock: (Default)

My Personality
Openness to Experience
High levels of stress can lead to you feeling panic or confusion, but usually you cope with day to day pressures, however you are sensitive about what others think of you. Your concern about rejection and ridicule cause you to feel shy and uncomfortable around others. You are easily embarrassed and often feel ashamed. Your fears that others will criticize or make fun of you are exaggerated and unrealistic, but your awkwardness and discomfort may make these fears a self-fulfilling prophecy. People generally perceive you as distant and reserved, and you do not usually reach out to others. You are not interested in the arts and do not display aesthetic sensitivity. You are willing to take credit for good things that you do but you don't often talk yourself up much, however you do not enjoy confrontation, but you will stand up for yourself or push your point if you feel it is important. You take your time when making decisions and will deliberate on all the possible consequences and alternatives.

Take a Personality Test now or view the full Personality Report.

The best Ugg Boots

redwineisinstock: (Default)
So new technology, as promised.

I'm a bit of a purist about technology. I don't want a phone that is a camera and a pda and a mp3 player, because frankly, what that actually means is that it does all of those badly, and mucks up the actual point of the phone, which is for calls and texts. I promised myself a new mp3 player when I got a job. Because I have a mac, and all my music is on the mac, I pretty much have limited choice in player, and have to go for a ipod. While I think the ipods are pretty, they are way way overpriced, and if I could find any reliable proof that a creative player would play nice with my mac, I'd be buying one. But I can't. My other problem is that I have about 10.5 gig of music with about another gig of podcasts. There isn't a ipod in the 12-15 gig range. I had considered getting two nano's, one for the gym and one for the rest of it, but even 8 gig isn't quite enough. I had resigned myself to buying a ipod classic and a nano for the gym. Then the iTouch came out. On recommendations from friends (or anti recommendations, as in don't go play, it's too pretty) I went and played with one. It is very pretty. Boy, is it pretty. But you know, its also pretty much pointless. So, it's wireless. Okay, how often am I near a open wireless connection without my mac. Can't think of a time in the last 6 months. Music, yes, pretty, but really, an ipod would do, and has way more space. Video, right, because I want to watch a movie on a tiny screen. Again, can't think of anything I want to watch badly enough to watch on a iTouch. Surfing the net, great, but I'm pretty sure the next gen iPhone/iTouch, which will probably have both mobile and wireless connections will be better.

So, I'm putting off the decision. When apple release the SDK, if serious PDA people make noises about porting actual business apps across to the iTouch, ones that don't rely on a wireless connection, then I'll buy one. Otherwise, no. But in the mean time, I have a shiny new iPod Nano to play with.

I did wonder if I had brought a iTouch, just how long it would take certain people to arrive at the house wanting to play. I had about 3 hours down as a bet.

I'm not really sure apple has thought about the iTouch's market. Just who is supposed to be buying these things? Or maybe I'm just getting old and not with the new generation. Although, at £300 quid, I'm not sure the new generation can afford an iTouch.

Technology just isn't the way it used to be :-(
redwineisinstock: (Default)
Oh my god, I'd forgotten what its like to work for a living! (those of you who haven't had a holiday in a while , K I'm looking at you, may want to skip this section)

So, I've been sitting at home for 6 months and to be fair, the year before that wasn't exactly hard work on the brain, so its really been 18 months since I had to think. My brain is very slowly restarting. I think for the first few days it was in shock. Not to mention my body, which has decided to get sick, right at the best time. I figure I have no immunity to all those nasty colds that always go around, but I've probably managed to infect half the office, because I can't really take sick leave one week into a new job.

(Okay, those of you who work too hard can rejoin the post now)

I went for a interview at T on a Wednesday. It was a good interview, but the company reminded me a lot of the first company I worked/lived for, which wasn't a great comparison. However, they seem to have weathered the storms a lot better than my old company, P, and they'd thrown their mad MD out, a feat which we never managed. They offered me the job the next morning. Woken up from a deep sleep, I accepted the job with a minimum of fuss, lucky for me the offer was pretty good, so I didn't do too badly. Then I told them about my holiday, which caused some concern. Still, they wanted me to start ASAP (4 days for my CV to go to the client and them to agree to me joining a project is fast!), so the next Wednesday, I trotted over to T's offices, had the fastest intro to a firm known to man, had various bits of technology thrust at me, and was on my way to the client site in 90 mins. Where I have been ever since. This has the slight effect of causing me to not quite know who I'm working for, or what they want me to achieve, which as a consultant is a bit worrying. I'm hoping for clarity at some point, and in the mean time, focusing on being bright eyed (through a bad cold) and bushytailed, and figuring it out later.

And hey, new technology! But I will post about that later, because I have enough material for 2 posts and that happens very rarely, so I shall take advantage of it. All I shall say is iTouch pretty!


Oct. 30th, 2007 02:12 am
redwineisinstock: (Default)
Just for comparison. Not sure it means very much, except that the quiz makers have an obsession with jumping!


Oct. 10th, 2007 12:48 am
redwineisinstock: (Default)
So it turns out having nothing to do with my day (except that pesky business of looking for work) is not good for my posting habits. You would think that with all the time in the world, posting more often would be easier, but the days just seem to slip by.

I'm now offically off work! Lots of interviews, no jobs yet, but I haven't lost hope yet. However, I really hate comptency based interviews.

However, in that period I have managed to fit a 2 week holiday in Tuscany in, which was wonderful. We stayed in a villa just outside of Sienna on a working vineyard, which was really interesting. Got to see the grapes harvested in the last few days, not a job I'd want. The wine was not bad, and as the owner showed us to their wine cellar, gave us a price list and said we'd add it all up at the end of the holiday, quite a bit got drunk. Also shoes and handbags were purchased, as must happen when one is in Italy. And when I figure out how to put pictures behind lj cuts, I will post pictures.

Found this the other day and was shocked. Even more shocked that I wasn't shocked that it happened, more that it was recorded and then watched by people. The links in the blog are very useful and I'm thinking about how I'd like to get involved. Sometimes, I hold out very little hope for humanity.