Friday, January 25, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

As seen on TV

Now, you know I love Herself dearly, but there are times... Today I was tiling again. The floor of our porch needed some treatment so we decided on some tiles which we accidentally found in Woodies and which have now all gone down, cut bits and all, over the past two weekends. I need to grout them tomorrow. My knees are already complaining and I haven't even confirmed to them that the date with the hard floor is still on.

So I was working in my slippers today. I thought:

"If one of those tiles slips off the work bench and skewers your toe, it's your own fault, you know?"

No such skewering took place. I reassured myself that the lack of work boots was a minor bullet dodging event that I would not repeat. Next time, it's boots all the way. Anyhow, I now didn't have to look for my slippers. Sure, weren't they on my feet?

Herself arrived in from the shops, looking despondant.

"I only bought two new tablecloths, a decorative table for the porch, a new salad bowl and a bunch of stuff I'm not going to tell you about," she said, miserably. "There was nothing in the shops."

One of the soon-to-be-revealed items was a set of three LED lights for awkwards spots. You put in a load of batteries and give the thing a push and it lights up under your stairs or in your toolbox or in your pocket or anywhere else you need a light.

"One will do for when you want to adjust the gas boiler," Herself said.

I didn't doubt her, and after tidying up after my tile laying, folding up the work bench and putting it neatly, if temporarily, under the stairs, and putting aside a roasting tin from the oven which had mysteriously appeared in the way, I put in batteries and fumbled with self-adhesive strips in the semi-darkness by the boiler. Herself carried on cooking Saturday lunch.

There was a gut-wreching CLANG!

"Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!" I hinted, my head stuck under the stairs in an LED dazzle as the thing flew to bits and disappeared into a now well-lit hidey hole. The fact that the heating system was now clearly and visibly on 1.5 bar was of no comfort to me.

"What's wrong?" Herself asked from the kitchen.

"I'm crippled!" I roared.

"From what?" she asked, poking her head around the door.

"From this feckin' roasting tin!" I said, pointing. A second tin (not the one I had dilligently moved out of the way, of course), had been hung, by persons unknown, on the leg of my folded up workbench and had neatly guillotined the arch of my foot while I played silly buggers with the LED light. Oh, Jesus! It hurt!

From the kitchen came the sound of muffled giggling. I was not amused:

"Feck you and your LED lights! My bleedin' foot!"

I swear, the next time she brings home something that needs gutting, hanging, skinning, assembly, switching on or putting out... SHE CAN FECKIN' WELL DO IT HERSELF!

My poor foot...!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Who do you do?

Si Lytton, Willie's avatar in Second LifeIf you could be someone else for a while, who would it be?

Second Life, the "3D online virtual world", claims to have 50,000 people finding out the answer to this any given day.

The online world, which is free to explore, allows visitors to create a fantasy representative of themselves, called an avatar. Avatars come in basic patterns which can be modifed in appearance and dress. To explore the world, one sends one's avatar from place to place, on foot, driving, even flying, and in the process you get to see what other people have made in the form of virtual villages, shopping malls, gardens, apartments and houses. Avatars may "speak" with each other, dance, attend events. There is also a Second Life economy, based on imaginary land ownership and the Linden Dollar. Visitors may earn some play money for their online excursions or spend real cash to extend their character's possessions into buildings or to purchase an island of their very own.

Real world educators and charities have used Second Life to spread their message and to earn some real cash from donations. Bands have played Second Life concerts. I have visited a space centre and an ecological project where I've been lectured on wise use of fossil fuels. I've also had my male avatar kissed passionately by another male avatar quite unexpectedly, and been chased by a maniac in a steam roller! My character, Si Lytton, has also come fourth in a bull-riding machine hall of fame, failed miserably at managing to ice skate and spent 20 minutes sitting with a robot having a conversation about shoes.

Visit it. Take a look. See what you like or don't like.

You need to download some software to create an avatar and visit Second Life.

I'll be at Cheerz Bar, learning to dance.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Back to work...

...and my back is playing silly buggers. My workmates diagnose Sciatica. As someone is always suffering some ailment, I don't doubt their collective opinion and it's saved me €60 at the doctor's anyhow. I spent last evening with a heat pack strapped to my arse and walked everywhere like Elvis in his 68 comeback special, but without the leather gear. The pain is gradually easing, thank you for asking.

Good things: I forgot that my Christmas pressie from my chums was stashed under my desk and when I found it again today and looked closely, it turned out to be a box full of beer.

As I said, the pain is now gradually easing.

I shall not hazard the chilli flavoured peanuts that accompanied the beer in case the lack of bowel control that I read on the Internet can be associated with severe Sciatica should kick in.

There is only so much speed I can muster with one good leg and the other trailing a half-step behind and I should not like to shite circles around myself on the way to the loo.

Herself is making small prayers in the hallway, taking down Christmas decorations. The place is starting to look bare.

If it is fine tomorrow, I may attempt to paint the doorsteps, which need a blackening. Thus far, we have not yet found suitable tiles for the floor of the new porch. I suggested a temporary linoleum and two days of ice and snow resulted.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Heart-Shaped Flame

Herself and I lit a single candle this New Year's Eve, in remembrance of our mothers. Part way through the evening, it was pointed out that the flame had become heart-shaped. One side of the flame would rise up a little, the other diminish. Then the reverse would happen. We decided it must be the two Mammies vying for attention!

The two of them liked sweeties, so they must have agreed to share when both sides were equal.

Happy New Year to everybody who is missing someone in 2008.