j4: (badgers)

I have had enough of today and I have had enough of this cough and I am totally devoid of inspiration for anything to blog about so instead in a brief nod to Clovember here's an awkward & badly-lit selfie of me in a badger hat:


If even a badger hat WITH SEQUINS doesn't help then something is definitely Not Right.

ETA: image now resized, sorry about that, blame the iPhone LJ app!

j4: (southpark)
This comment on a parenting web forum is an example of one of the reasons why I avoid parenting web forums:
"hi ya i had this with my lo she 9 months and she been theething like made i asked my h/v and she said stop all fresh juice only give her diluted juice but must be suger free, dont purt any her foumla milk in her foods only fresh milk and dont give her so much paracentmol coz that could cause it too
and i done so and its worked its better all round now which is nice."

It's not that I think being able to write is necessarily correlated with quality of parenting; it's just that I find it hard to wade through posts with lousy spelling and no punctuation. It slows down my reading and that frustrates me - especially when time is such a scarce resource.

I say "parenting", there, but I don't think I've ever seen a man make a post (or comment) on a baby/child forum; they're always pitched at "mums", and to read some of them you'd think "dads" were a different species entirely. That's another reason why I mostly avoid parenting web forums: I am sick and tired of the "lol men just wudnt understnad" attitude. My daughter has two parents. OK, there is currently one thing that only I can do for her (since [livejournal.com profile] addedentry steadfastly refuses to lactate) -- and at the moment I'm just spending more time with her than he is, because that's the way our jobs worked out -- but everything else is as much an issue for him as it is for me.

The other reason why I mostly avoid parenting web forums is the fact that they're nearly always anti-science, anti-evidence, anti-knowledge: they're an arena where perceived experience ("well it worked for me") trumps everything, and so-called experts are not to be trusted because they're always changing their minds (that is, they change their guidelines on best practice in response to new research... shocking behaviour!). I know that there are some areas of parenting where science can't give you the answers; I know that there are areas where there probably isn't enough research to be able to pronounce definitively. But there are also lots of areas -- particularly in medicine -- where there is considerable knowledge, and I'd rather talk to a health professional than ask a randomly chosen person on the internet what their opinion is. That's not to say that health professionals are infallible, or even that different health visitors, GPs etc will offer the same advice. But even if I accepted that experience trumped everything, I'd rather go to someone who has experience of dealing with thousands of children, not just one or two!

Anyway, time to stop ranting before Img wakes up. :-)

ETA: Since everybody seems to be namechecking mumsnet, I should in fairness point out that the example comment above is not from mumsnet!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

j4: (Default)

November's very nearly over; I lost the blogging momentum over the last few days through being busy and tired, and was hoping to regain it (there's still a lot of loose ends), but I just haven't had the energy. It seems a shame to let NaBloPoMo just tail off like that, but... I'm exhausted. I could stay up late and bang out a few hundred more words and be exhausted again tomorrow morning, but you know what? Nobody pays me enough for this to make it worth being knackered all the time. I remember finally realising towards the end of my undergraduate degree (nearly 10 years ago now) that if I didn't hand an essay in there was actually nothing my tutors could do to me that was worse than long-term sleep deprivation; you'd think the lesson would have stuck, but maybe it's time for a bit of revision. With work, though, it's not so much a question of "bad things will happen if I don't do this" so much as the illusion that if only I could work a little harder, smarter, or later I'd eventually get everything finished. That's like hoping that just one more game is all it'll take for me to win at Tetris. YOU CAN'T WIN AT TETRIS: you can only put off losing for a bit longer. I can only put off sleep for a bit longer, too. Time for bed.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

j4: (Default)

I've written today's blog post on paper. I'm on a train. Will update tomorrow!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Pox pops

Aug. 1st, 2009 05:13 pm
j4: (Default)

Teenagers overheard on the bus:

"No, you can still carry the germs even if you haven't got it."
"No you can't, not if you take Tamiflu."
"What, you can get a TABLET for it?"
"Yeah. No. It's called Tamiflu."
"How do you know you've got it?"
"Well you can't sleep, and then there's loss of appetite, and... I dunno, there's this thing,
I've got it on here, and there's this number you can ring, I'll show you... what does 'Swine Flu' begin with? Is it 'S'? Yeah? [pause] Oh for fuck's sake well anyway there's a number."
"Apparently the age of, like, getting it is, like, 5 to 15. The age of, like, DYING from it."

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

j4: (Default)

This is very last-minute, I know, but I am on the way to Cambridge. I will be singing carols with the Portfolio Singers in the Craft Market from 12ish to 2ish (finish time depends on weather and enthusiasm), fraternizing with singers afterwards, faffing a bit, and aiming to end up in the Castle on Castle Hill at 5pm for food and drink. Do come and say hello! :-)

Also ... Look! Posting LJ from a train! We live in the future!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Wire why

Nov. 12th, 2008 11:58 pm
j4: (Default)

I wrote a long blog post on paper, and was looking forward to typing it up on a computer with a real keyboard, but got home to find that we had no internet access.

This may seem like a slightly odd thing for an internet addict to say, but: I hate home networking. I wouldn't hate it if it worked, of course -- if it was like electricity, working at the flick of a switch, no configuration required, total failure so rare that we're still talking about the last time it happened -- but it's never like that.

So what is it like? )

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

j4: (Default)

Back in the parental home for one night, before visiting grandparents tomorrow. Every time I come back here, something else has changed -- there's a patio where the scrubby tree and the anomalous fritillary were; the old fire has been replaced with a neat black stove; the TV is on a modern glass corner-table instead of strange 80s built-in units; there's a shiny double bed in what was my room -- and still is my room, in parts, but with fewer and fewer of my things each time I come and go. And every time I come back, I'm a little bit different, too; thinking different things, having been to different places, knowing things I didn't know before. (Knowing things I wish I'd known then; knowing things I wish I didn't know now.) Each time I walk in and out of this place I wear away the carpet a little bit more, and one day they'll get a new carpet, but by the time it has to go, you're ready to see the back of it. Bit by bit the cells of my body will die and be replaced, leaving the dust of dead skin in a layer throughout the house; and bit by bit I'll wear the house away, taking things and leaving things, ebb and flow, flotsam and jetsam, wearing it all away like the water wears the stone.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Shutdown

Nov. 7th, 2008 04:34 pm
j4: (Default)

The conference is getting to the point where everyone's brains are full; we're slowing down, fading out. Outside, the last light is seeping away; inside, the light feels close and small, inadequate against the dark. The speaker is Powerpoint-free, standing informally in front of the lectern, but he's losing his audience: behind him the computer screen being projected has gone into screensaver mode, and in front of him, most of the people have done the same.

My colleague and I are sat at the back of the room by the power sockets, recharging; his mac has gone to sleep, and so has he: eyes closed, face still drawn into lines of stress, shadowed in the artificial light. I want us all to stop pretending, to stop all this pretence at power-saving and power-napping. I want to draw down the dark and let sleep fill the space left by daylight vanishing.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Narrowband

Nov. 6th, 2008 11:59 pm
j4: (Default)

Racing to make the blogging deadline for today, posting from my iPhone in an overheated hotel room. Being 'wireless', as long as battery life is limited, narrows your vision in the same way that illness does: you're looking for the next plug socket, the gap between conference sessions when you can recharge; you're scrambling for the seats nearest the wall. There was a long table down one side of the Great Hall, and half a dozen of us sat there because there were sockets; we called it the 'juice bar'. That juice is a strange addiction; a cocktail of power and communication, a need to feel connected, but all empty calories.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

iPost

Nov. 2nd, 2008 02:55 pm
j4: (Default)

As I twittered yesterday, there's now an LJ app for the iPhone. This test of its capabilities doesn't count towards the post-a-day, but may make it easier to keep up while I'm away at a conference next week.

Let's see what it can do... )

In summary: quite usable, a bit buggy, but since it's free and this is only the first release I will persevere with it and see how it develops.

PS: I should point out that this is the first LJ client I've tried at all. I did look (back in the early days) to see if there was a command-line LJ client, and there wasn't, so I stuck with the web interface. 8-)

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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