Friday, 23 August 2013

Terminology - a Rant, by D.Ross MacIver

Terminology is a marvellous thing - it is the Emperor's New Clothes of vocabulary.

 "What can you possibly mean by that, Big D, old bean?" saith you.
 Although what you are probably saying is:
 "Well, diii - d'you only just notice?"
 The answer to that would be: "OBVS NOT! - I've known it for years!!"

The truth, however, would be that I have never been bombarded by so much as I have over the past week since my poor wee Post Office fell foul to the doubtless antiquated network of cables etc that a certain telecommunications giant (heretofore to be known as TG) think will "do" because it's all we should expect given that we have to audacity to live on an island.   

I feel for the poor TG engineers. I was talking to one I found in a hole at the bottom of my garden.  There he was last Friday, 6:30pm, holding something that looked like an intergalactic spider that had been in a fight at the Clachan:  all bits hanging off it; and he didn't have a clue what was going on with my PO - he was busy trying to get some other poor bugger in the villages's phone up and running because it had been off for days.

So, yes terminology -  the first one used during this debacle,  and one I confess to enjoying using on anyone I think may not fully understand what it means is "re-boot".

Lovely People (absolutely NOT sarcasm - after this week - they've been keeping me sane) at out PO Technical Support: So Mrs Unbound have you tried re-booting the system.
Me: No, I can't, I'm wearing shoes today. D'you think the original booting I gave it could be the issue?
L.P at T.S: ?????????????
Me: OH!!! You mean - have I switched it off then back on again :)))

(I've made up one of my own; have even boiled it down to an acronym: MAPUS
Manually applied pressure to the surface unit - I didn't do that though - honestly).

But the terminology crown has to go to a phrase used by TG today - it seems that after 8 days my dear little Post Office isn't working because our "ticket's stuck".

Well, flip me!!! Why didn't you say so before, TG!!!! That makes everything clear.  No wonder I can't so much as post a freaking parcel!  Our ticket's stuck - ha! should have guessed really........

 PARDON!! Our what's what! What the hell does that mean!

Lovely Person at Tech Support (who are doubtless thoroughly sick of hearing my deep booming voice by now): (pause) - yeah, I was kind of wondering that myself.

This phrase has now been passed along various tiers and levels of PO people and hierarchy because PO Counters are taking my plight very seriously - all sorts of High Heidens are involved and have probably been googling like crazy to find out what and where we are.

So that's what I mean about the Emperor's new clothes; someone from TG supposed to be giving an update on our situation used this phrase, and the person at the other end didn't like to point out that to us regular Joe's it meant bugger all - in effect was meaningless and; therefore, as a piece of information rendered invisible.  But the thing is, it would have been used with such authority that whoever was assailed with it didn't like to suggest they couldn't see the information that "our ticket being stuck" was allegedly imparting.  I like to think that the illusion may have worked had it not been for me having no qualms about appearing like an idiot (anyone familiar with my dress sense will be nodding) - thusly, what we have, instead of an accepted acceptable reason for my PO being off, is a statement revealed to be plain, naked, gobbledygook. 

To be fair and just, however, perhaps it is the case that this is a phrase that any old employee of TG would recognise and understand, and it is only us uninitiated in their mystical ways that are left struck dumb.

It is a better reason than the one they were originally trying to float which was that we lived in a remote location and getting an engineer to us was difficult .... as one of my customers said yesterday: "We haven't been remote for 50 years!"  So, my lot at the PO end of help lines were picturing this, rather than the reality: this  (okay - I might have exaggerated a little).

The plus side of the past week was finding out what a useful bunch work for out local parliamentarians. They have been most helpful with regards setting cats amongst pigeons.  Next time I feel it's even raining too hard, I will be calling them.

Oh, and one last thing - one of the people dealing with my situation has the best job title ever: The High Level Complaints Gatekeeper - that is so cool - if you take the complaints bit out.  Don't know about you, but I'm picturing this!!!

TUNE: My Chemical Romance : I'm Not Okay (I Promise)

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

Yep - it's my birthday, according to the dates I have on facebook, I'm 81 - nice - I look flaming awesome for my age, if I say so myself :)  My Mother is 80 - she quite likes that her youngest daughter is a year younger than her :)

Tune:

Today - aged 47 I walked to work singing the following song - well mouthing vigorously (out loud would have been a bit mental) I decided it was really time I stopped giving a single toss:)))))

Try to stay still listening to this :)

Fall Out Boy - Young Volcanoes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rwnmbJ_nGQs

"We areeeeeeee wild we are like young volcanoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Scotland V England - football.....

Don't even expect me to be dismissive - all I can say is I wish, right now, I was German or Peruvian or from anywhere else because the marrow in my bones hurts  - AND I'M NOT EVEN FREAKING WATCHING ..............
Tune:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHDxUvDXFqg

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Temperamental Brethren - a quicky

Two things I noticed this afternoon: the word "temperamental" (for anyone that's read my book - I think you can guess who that was referring to)  has far too many letters in it - it should be "tempremental"; the other one is "Brethren" - which comes up quite a lot because of a shifty bunch of lads who have turned up in the sequel I'm working on, their full title being "The Brethren of the True Word", as opposed to their opposite numbers - "The Disciples of the Lost Word".

Every time I type Brethren, I type it "Bretheren" which is supposed to be wrong but clearly isn't.  So, what I thought was - how about we all agree - by way of compromise -  (and I think I'm being pretty generous here) to make those two words spelt "tempramental" and "Bretheren", thereby just swapping a couple of letters about. What d'you think??

We Are A Grandmother - again.


Well not really...well... not at all, actually. I think the chances of me being related, even very distantly to one of my hens are pretty slim. Although, we do have the same piercing glare when I think about, but I've never pecked anyone; possibly because I don't have a beak.  So, no - thankfully none of my actual offspring have sprung a surprise on us.  Our dear hen, known as "Roadrunner" - so crazed a beast that you need gauntlets to get near her if she's nesting - has got six tiny chicks - we thought it was seven but she demanded a recount and it was six.  Probably, knowing my luck it'll be another six cockerels and I already have more than enough of them marching around the place, 'doodling. And I've noticed they can never let anyone else - either one of their brothers or any other cockerel in the village - have the last word - so dawn can be a fairly protracted affair.


Roadrunner isn't the handsomest of God's feathery creations, I'll grant you, but she's looking worse than usual here as she is sick of me taking pictures of her and is getting ready to strike like a beaky cobra.  But the chicks are the sweetest things ever :)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Kicking the Queen in the 'nads,Tweeting, FBing and Blogging

Right, okay - cards on the table - this blog was set up as a vehicle by which to promote me, and by so doing, inspire blog readers to read my book when I eventually decided it (my book) was perfect.

 [I read that was what us "indi" writers [saddo, loser-self-publishers] were supposed to do these days. I've read allsorts of  stuff.]

But then I realised that was going to be never (the getting the book "perfect" thing) because I could have carried on tweaking, forever.

 [that comma - the one before "forever": I read in an old grammar book that one should ALWAYS place a comma before, "forever"  so if I don't now - I feel like I'm kicking the Queen in the bollocks, I really do, ("too" is another one). I've become quite neurotic over grammar's quirks, but I still can't get my head around commas [oh, and there's another: I can no longer write "round" unless I am referring to a spherical object.........ffs]  (and yeah, I do also know these squarey brackets are for scientific stuff - but..........I like them.) [ ].

I also started tweeting like a fiend for the same reason (mini blogs) - self-promotion. Got loads of lovely followers, which was nice, and "met" some lovely people like blog follower and author Terri Tyler. But I can't keep up with it - all it seems to be is reams and reams of people trying to promote their books, which is fine but how much use? So, in an effort to see, last weekend I promoted my book by quoting one of my fabulous reviews and made zero sales on the back of it. However, free promotion weekend, I got nearly 200 books shifted. Hmm, me thinks twitter is a no goer for that and all that's happened is I can no longer get feed from people I'd like to hear from.  Twitter is one big series of adverts for me.  Facebook now - that's my friends telling me to piss off and stop dicking on about my stupid book (no one has actually said that - but I'm waiting) - enjoy the honesty and also the knowledge that I know where the bastards live...........

May no longer bother tweeting, but I do love blogging - it's like a really satisfying sneeze.  So, although I was talked in to it in order to promote Two All - and although it is seriously dying on its feet - will keep on blogging.  Thank you for reading - will try not to be too hideous  :)

TUNE: We Are the Ocean - Machine (played at Belledrum very recently - would love to have seen them)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Words, Vitimin Tablets, Water and a bit of Biffy

Wrote 4000 words today, pretty pleased - well when I say "wrote" what I mean is transposed from my long hand draft, but then as I never stick to the script it doesn't count. Lordy, I will be very lucky if this doesn't take a hell of a lot longer than nearly three years like Two All.

A really funny thing happened this week - actually three plus really funny things happened this week.

Number one was that I started taking these well-womany vitiman thingy tablets because the doctor suggested it might be a good idea - won't bore you with why. Started taking them Friday before last and on Sunday morning pinged out of bed cleaned the fridge, rearranged the cupboards and wrote like a fiend all afternoon - and it wasn't bin-fodder (just as well as the bin was full of all the out-of-date crap from the fridge and cupboards - oops).  Considering taking the well-man tablets now because I could really do with erecting a selection of shelves, rustling some cattle, fighting  and mayhap growing a beard so I could find out what my actual hair colour is because I've forgotten - my mother romantically suggests chestnut - I'm thinking brown - yuck, I'll stick with too-old-for-it black :)

Oh yeah the funny things, well, a couple I can't tell because I am a responsible Post Mistress and confidentiality regarding everyone's affairs is my by-word - well, unless that person is me - obvs *snort*  - you're reading my blog!!

But this was really no.1 funny thing - so I went to the loo, as you do - I'd done all the shop bills and sorted invoices and reckoned I had an hour to work on my follow up to Two All (The Rise of the Dark Heart) and before starting I thought I'd arrange a wee cup of tea (green, of course) and a pee (not green - hopefully), so there I was - hygiene central myself, turning on the tap for a post-pee decontamination (don't know about you, but I've never pee-ed on my hands - any whoo) when the tap fell apart in my hand - in bits:

                                            WHOOSH!! WATER EVERYWHERE!!!

Now, this is quite a confined space, and I was wearing a quite confining skirt  into the bargain, and in my haste to get on I hadn't quite returned it to where it should be, so  there I was with one finger stuck in the tap hole and the other wiggling my favourite Gothic Rockabilly skirt into position while being sprayed sideways by the tap. What am I going to do!  What am I going to do! And  my lovely My Chemical Romance poster up in the loo to cheer me up if things aren't good, was getting soaked!  In the end there was no other option - I removed my friged digit and ran for the phone, ran back, replaced reluctant fore finger ( "I canna do it, Captain" - "You freaking can - it's what you were made for, my son.!") and called Paul : the conversation went thusly:

"PAUL, GET YOUR BUTT DOWN HERE - I NEED YOU RIGHT NOW!!!!!"

Poor fellow thought it was some sort of extreme, overly literal rough wooing but like the man he is,  he girded his loins and came anyway, after saying: "Put towels over it!" - "I don't having any freaking towels - stamps I have - towels - in the zero column!" - "Oh bloody hell" ( he's from the north of England so that was pronounced how it looks). 

Well, the upshot was a flooded back shop, one soaked Goth Rockabilly Post Mistress (trying for Steampunk but it's not always easy to wear and still handle sacks of coal - I've gotten my time piece caught in one too many boot-closing related incidents, and without my hat and goggles I just look weird :)); one soaked shop Chairman called Paul and a extremely cool and laid back neighbour and former Post Master, dearest Neil "Beag" MacKenzie - whose spring, which we share, I had just emptied. Twas Neil himself who pointed out where the stop cocks were (link? tempting).

Sorry I can't tell you the other stuff, but it doesn't star me making an arse of myself - it stars other people so...............

Have a good week and know your stop cocks (pheowrr!! one for the ladies!!)

Tune: Talking about "one for the ladies" here's:  Biffy Clyro "The Captain"

Thursday, 1 August 2013

My Disability


I DON'T DRIVE

Mostly because I never figured it out: swerve this, don't run into that, heavily bumping over things is bad, just because they were old doesn't make it okay - RULES!!!! 

My last driving instructor, Donnie Macleod - he of Donnie Macleod School of Motoring, Tolsta - was the best ever: at NO point did he throw himself out of the vehicle screaming; at no point did he start praying (audibly) AND when I pointed out I could not only not see the pavement in my rear view mirror but that only the sky was visible, did he scream: GET OUT OF MY VEHICLE FREAKISH DWARF WOMAN - which was a refreshing change.  We did have our differences, like when he thought I should "over-take" (as I think "term" is)  - a static bin lorry (the man's crazy!!) or when he thought that going over 40 miles an hour wasn't going to make our skeletons crumble to dust - lol!!! :) (dude needs to read the  science book c 1870 - it's all there).

 At 4'10", I am - indeed  - on the short side, the only disadvantage that I have encountered ( apart from finding driving a bit of an issue which I think has got a lot more to do with attention span and over active imagination than stature) is that I have a rather early on-set bunion from standing on my tip toes all my life to try and see what the hell everyone else was looking at.  Other difficulties are nothing a well placed chair, an ability to sew, a ladle (short people will get that) and a bit of imagination won't take care of - oh and being a bit bouncy.I I

 And not driving - phimf - means I walk everywhere or wait for stuff - so I'm fit, and I have time to contemplate - how bad is that. I can also be hugely smug about my environmental foot-fall.  I see all the beautiful flowers on the verge on the way to work and I give caterpillars time to get to the side, I don't just squish them because I don't see them, and nothing , nothing has ever died on my windscreen or front bumper:)

Hypocrisy disclaimer: it was raining tonight when I finished work and I wasn't suitably attired so I called my dear friend Joan - wife of Donnie "Bravest Son of the Road" Macleod to take me home - there's a time and place :)

Tune: The Used - Crawls like a Worm from a Bird.