2007 — 5 October: sew what?

Time now (09:56) and we're going to take things a lot easier today (though we both slept somewhat like logs, admittedly). Breakfast, and all but the morphine onboard, so I took a little snapshot. S(h)ewing what, do you suppose? There's a clue round Her neck, of course.

New kitchen curtains

Curtains for the old kitchen curtains, basically. This is one of those tasks that's been on Her back-burner for the five years since we chose the material. You know how it is when you're a poor working stiff.

Anti-climax (2)... department

Booking my Theory test was a web-based doddle, accomplished with ease even before breakfast. So, yes, the DSA1 is considerably more on the ball than the DWP.

Queen of Sheba... department

I mentioned a couple of days ago that removing all the DVD cover artwork scans that I'd been hosting from "molehole" has eased the load2 on the server. Yesterday I was startled to see in the web server logs that someone casting around the web for (and I quote carefully) "eassy on daughter of the queen of sheba by jacki lyden" had found me simply because that NPR senior correspondent's poignant memoir about her mother's fragile mental state is tucked away on my book shelves. And in my books database, of course.

Queen of Sheba

Perhaps I should apologise to my unknown searcher, but I am not generally in the habit of writing essays (or even an eassy) on my books (though it's actually a good idea for another retirement hobby, I think). I shall have to look out for one of those increasingly rare "round tuits". Plus it's fair to say I'm a bit distracted at the moment.

Vernor Vinge... department

He of the singularity is back, with "slides" from a talk that is "singularity" interesting!



1  One could argue, I suppose, that the DWP touches all 60,000,000 of us whereas the DSA only handles a third of that number. I did eventually succeed in submitting the claim for Christa's Disability Living Allowance earlier this morning, by dint of starting the process in Internet Explorer, and switching across to Firefox when IE hung. At least they've programmed in a sensible scheme of saving web data input as you go along, though I bet they didn't test it across browsers mid-session!
Users, heh?
The electronic help desk folk suggested I pursue the manual route and call the help phone line. The help phone line folk, by contrast, suggested the electronic help desk folk. Both were also happy to recommend the "Benefit Enquiry Line". (That was where I found a helpful human who promised to put the "manual" claim pack into the post to me.) Somewhat amusingly, "if you are not already in receipt of this benefit" (and why would you be applying for it if you were, I wonder?) you must first go through your "local" benefits office (which you can find at one of their web pages). Guess where the "local" office is for London, the South East and Hampshire, etc.? That's right: Blackpool! To the Civil Service mind I can only assume this makes perfect sense. Aspects of the form-filling may also explain why many benefits go unclaimed. I'm tempted to email the sorry saga to the Minister of Health. If I employed either or both the programmers and the people writing replies from the help desk I'd be sending them on a variety of remedial education courses...
2  To the tune of half a gigabyte or so in monthly downloads, to the mutual amazement of Junior (who's paying for the hosting service) and me (who isn't!)