Hayfever and sunglasses
I have suffered from hayfever for years, and have been aware that one of the recommendations to stop pollen getting to your eyes is to wear wrap around sunglasses. It's hard to get prescription lenses in wrap around sunglasses because of the shape of the lenses, so when you look in standard opticians you don't tend to see many wrap around frames. I am a full time glasses wearing person, so normal sunglasses aren't an option.
At the end of last year I finally worked my way round it (I think with help from commenters here) at a reasonable-ish price.
I ordered these frames then used that company's recommended reglazers, Ciliary Blue to have the lenses in the glasses replaced with tinted prescription lenses. I now have prescription sun glasses, in a wrap around frame for about £95, which while not being as cheap as some ways of getting prescription sunglasses, isn't IMO, bad, given that some places I'd been looking were advertising sunglasses at £300-£400.
Somebody on LJ pointed me at Dakine as a brand of rucksacks that are hardwearing and are a bit more interesting than plain black but with patterns that aren't out of place in an office, rather than ones that are more obviously designed for walking or camping. I now have one that I'm liking a lot.
Banks seem to be going out of their way to undermine people's ability to keep themselves safe, by behaving in ways that replicate the behaviour of those who are trying to take advantage of us. They phone us and ask us to confirm security information. When we phone them they ask us for security information before they even know what question it is we want to ask (it might be "what time does the branch in $foo close on a Saturday?" - they don't need to know who is asking that question!). They send us text messages from numbers that cannot be verified online - how am I supposed to trust that a text message apparently containing details of my transactions is genuine when there is nothing to link that mobile number to the bank in their contact details page of their website?
So no, banks:
1. You do not telephone me and ask me to confirm who I am. Ever. Bad practice. I won't do so, I will hang up and report the call to you, on a number I can verify as belonging to you, as a potential fraud.
2. I will avoid dealing with you by telephone whenever possible, because it is so fucking frustrating. I don't ask clients who phone me at work to prove they are who they say they are before I'll talk to them! You could make the process much less frustrating by employing staff who speak English to the standard of a native speaker and by not asking security questions until you know someone wants information about their own accounts.
3. Publish your contact information. All of it. If a text message claims to come from you, I should be able to verify it.
1 x leaflet from the Conservative party = 0 spelling errors.
1 x leaflet from the English Democrats = 0 spelling errors. I am an agnostic atheist who is British, not English and Christian and find this leaflet borderline offensive.
1 x leaflet from the Green Party = 0 spelling errors.
1 x leaflet from the Labour Party = 0 spelling errors, far too many annoying cliches in the first paragraph, focused on next year's general election rather than this year's European election.
4 x leaflets from the Liberal Democrats, two addressed to me, the other two not = 0 spelling errors, but dubious mix of fonts within both leaflets, which duplicated each other a lot, rather than one expanding on the other. The third document was set out in the form of a letter addressed to me - they could have done with printing something on the back. The forth paradies the UKIP/Conservative/Labour leaflets.
1 x leaflet from No2EU = 0 spelling errors, correct use of an apostrophe, content incorrect [I simply don't believe that public services are being privatised within the EU because of EU legislation]
2 x leaflet from UKIP = 0 spelling errors. Elides the difference between the EU and the ECHR in a naughty fashion. [One of my pet peeves - the ECHR was drafted by Brits (and others) shortly after the end of the second world war - the jurisprudence of the ECtHR grew up around what was the EEC and became the EU, but is separate from it]. Clever of them to include a window poster within their leaflet though.
Given the lack of spelling errors [normally a feature of local election leaflets], I suspect this material has been prepared centrally by the parties, rather than by local parties.
None of the material has altered by original plan to vote Liberal Democrat though.
Other people have different views/experiences on this, which they're perfectly entitled to have, where names are perhaps a more fluid part of identity, connecting people with close parts of their family of origin or to a particular partner or to their family of choice and the bit of family they are most connected with changes over time. Other people use different names in different parts of their lives - a name for work and a name for home. I suspect there's considerable influence on some people's choices by institutionalised sexism, but you don't deal with that by removing or discouraging particular choices.
My main complaint here is not what people choose to call themselves in different times/different places, it's that systems/structures are not in place to reflect what people are choosing to do in terms of names. With some obvious exceptions, most of the time people who have altered their names want to be findable by both old and new name (or both home name and work name) or by a number of different names all at the same time and social media is not geared up for this. It expects people to have one name only. The same is true of things like passports (GB driving licences at least provide space on the paper counterpart for alternative signatures) - why can't passports and driving licences show someone's current preferred name and then give a list of previous names/also current names?
A lot of the problems that come with changing names (think serious professional ones, like publication records for academics and more mundane ones, like trying to cash a cheque addressed in the wrong name, the administration and paperwork involved in changing your name) primarily affect women, because it tends to be more women than men who alter their names could be avoided if we set up systems to explicitly recognise that Mrs Bloggs is also Miss Jones and that Miss Jones is still one of her names, even if she now prefers to be addressed as Mrs Bloggs, so colleagues, at the level of acquaintances she's not dealt with for some years can still find her on LinkedIn and she can cash cheques made payable to either name. Systems are easier to alter than human behaviour, so why not adapt systems that work better for current trends?
Does anyone know how I can alter the size of partitions of a hard drive on a computer? There are two partitions at the moment, one is very small and contains Windows and other software stuff and I want to make it bigger as there's only 9% free space on it. The other contains lots of unused space.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Edit - I'm happy to use a paid for app. I read enough Twitter that it's worthwhile spending money to get an app I like.
I've already unfollowed about four people on Facebook and one on Twitter for suggesting her death is something to be celebrated. I'll keep doing that. *shrugs*. I feel very strongly indeed that:
(a) death is not something to be celebrated, ever [sometimes it's a relief]
(b) there's no good reason to be insulting a newly dead person. The insults can wait for a couple of months.
(c) how we treat and talk about the dead is important.
I see *celebration* of her death and insults directed at her as an ethical failing; a lack of compassion and of respect. [Disagreeing with her politics is an entirely different matter.].
I dug into the bin, removed the coat hangers, someone had placed there, noticed there was a beef burger in a bun and then began to see the cigarette butts. Lots and lots of damp, smelly, cigarette butts, someone had decided the appropriate place to dispose of was my reycling bin. FFS.
Why do people do that sort of thing? There were lots of black bins in the same place as my blue bin and I cannot conceive of a recycling scheme that might accept cigarette butts for recycling. Surely, if you're going to use someone else's bin, because it's convenient, you at least have the courtesy to pick the correct kind of bin for your rubbish?
1. I think public spending cuts are inevitable in the current economic climate.
2. I don't agree with where some of the cuts are falling as there seems to be a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable in society.
3. Whilst I agree that everyone (companies and people) should pay the tax they owe, I consider that it's an enormous oversimplification of several different issues to suggest that unpaid tax from particular large corporations magically fixes the national debt or removes the need for public spending reductions.
4. I agree people have the right to protest by marching through the streets if they want. But I'm pissed off at the justifications I'm seeing for damaging property. No, it's not OK. And beyond that, I find it very hard to understand why people put themselves in harms way like this to make this particular point. If we know the police will use 'kettling' and we can reasonably assume within a very large event that there will be small groups of people out to cause trouble, then why join a protest march?
5. I'm reasonably happy with the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition so far. [There are individual decisions I would criticise, but over all they're not bad].
I can't work out how to take the cistern lid off. I have a dual flush system with buttons flat on the top of the cistern. I have already:
*cut through the grouting holding it to the wall behind it
*taken the metal coverings off the buttons on the toilet.
Under the metal buttons are two pieces of plastic, each connected to a short spring down to a further circular metal base. I can't currently work out how to take the plastic off the springs (if you're meant to do that) or how to take the springs out of their holes so I can get to the bit beneath the springs.
There's got to be a way of lifting the cistern lid off and I'm finding my inability to work it out frustrating. Anybody got any ideas?
Stuff I want to know about cars:
Am I right in thinking that finance deals offered by car selling places are generally very bad value and that it's better to borrow money elsewhere and pay cash?
Is it possible to pay for a car on a credit card?
How long should I expect to be able to keep a car in good working order for? If I buy a car now should I be expecting to replace it in 5/10 years time?
What's the best trade off between cars made in the UK and cars made elsewhere with expensive replacement parts? ie. how do I weigh up the expense of replacement parts vs. potentially greater reliability?
I see road fund duty is for cars after 2001 based on CO2 emissions with a different table for 2001-2009 cars and a new one for post 2010 cars. How much emphasis should I put on low CO2 emissions vs. other stuff? We can't predict govt policy, but would it be reasonable to assume that the trend towards taxing the more polluting cars more heavily will continue and thus buying something with low emissions is a good plan? [trying to give that appropriate weight vs. the attempt at making myself feel less bad for joining the car owning masses 'cos 'my car doesn't cause much pollution']
What is good performance in terms of miles per gallon?
What is best practice in terms of winter/summer tyres? Can you buy snow chains in the UK? What other sorts of safety equipment belong in a car [on my list already: fire extinguisher, first aid kit, hammer for breaking windows/seatbelt slicing, jack, spare tyre, flourescent jacket, kitchen roll]
What's your magic piece of equipment in a car? [context: I'm trying to think about what sort of things I should think about asking a garage to fit before I buy a car from them - I don't know what sorts of things these might be - maybe strategically placed drinks holders? hands free kit? etc]
* I don't want to change browser, I like Firefox
* I don't want something aimed at sharing bookmarks with other people
It's fundamentally bad security for a bank to be phoning me asking for security details. How am I supposed to tell that it is the bank and not a criminal scam?
I phoned them back about an hour later and again got an automated answering system, wanting me to talk to it before I could get through to a person who confirmed the automated phone call was Egg and that I had to go through to their security team.
Egg is only worth putting up with because Egg Money Manager is useful. Otherwise they could fuck right off with their computer generated speech calls at uncivilised hours of the morning and lack of alternative provision to the automated answering system to enable one to speak to a human.
I'm almost certainly willing to add back anyone who was reading but not commenting much or anyone with an abandoned journal who comes back and starts using it again.
Google has led me to Homeserve and I like the look of Easy Pay Gas Central Heating Cover. I know there is no cover for the first 28 days of the policy. It will cost £86.30 for the year. [The cost for the alternative product including an annual service is £153.42]
My boiler is at least 19 years old, if not closer to 29 years old. It would be eligible for the £400 government grant for replacing it, but that isn't something I want to do right now.
Given the age of the boiler, am I right in thinking that I should probably find insurance cover/a service contract that includes an annual service? [I'm not going to go with Homeserve's product as it's more expensive, but will keep looking].
Does anyone know anything about Homeserve?
Anyone have any other pearls of wisdom regarding heating cover products they want to share?
AOS are more expensive than British Gas and require someone to come out and see the system before you can apply for cover.
Domestic and General won't cover my boiler as it's a conventional boiler over 15 years old.
EON won't cover my postcode
Also, if you are in England and Wales, some counties have opened library registration to people who don't live within the area but live elsewhere within England and Wales - Westminster (has a number of reference/special interest libraries), Southwark, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire (to those in neighbouring counties, not all of England and Wales).
From the account/username I'm answering this poll from I
post the same content to DW + LJ
post different content to DW + LJ
only post to LJ
only post to DW
do something else
I have a different user name on DW. It is:
I have a separate blog/website you should know about. It is: