Tracking the book

Right, my Happy Humanists book now physically exists in the world. Blurb finished printing this morning, and shipped it via UPS. I have the tracking number, and I was feeling pretty optimistic for a while.

Unfortunately, its current status is ‘Exception’. ‘An unforeseen event has occurred which could result in a change to the Scheduled Delivery Date’. Shit. The reason given is ‘UPS INTERNAL ACTIVITY CODE’, which doesn’t help much.


I’ll be obsessively checking the tracking page for the rest of the day, then…

Update @ 1725: Still in limbo. Sigh. Last time it shipped overnight, so I’m just going to hope. A classmate has suggested I print out the preview pages from Blurb’s software and hand these in, so the project is at least ‘complete’. That’s a pretty good idea, and if all else fails it’ll have to do.

Update @ 1856: Ooh! The books are ‘In transit’ and ‘On time’! They’ll be delivered some time between 9am and 7pm tomorrow. Gulp. UPS, I take it all back, and will destroy the voodoo dools forthwith.

Skype’s ‘test call’ isn’t necessarily indicative

I spent hours today trying to get Skype working. I needed it for this evening, but calls to the test number were robotlike and incoherent. I opened ports, punched holes in and disabled firewalls, enabled skype’s debugging modes, uninstalled other networking programs, reconfigured NAT and in the end replaced my router1. Nothing worked, and I got more and more frustrated. I eventually discovered that SkypeOut was totally clear and free of error, so I figured I’d call a landline if necessary.

Come this evening: skype to skype worked perfectly. Afterwards I tried calling the test line again, and it had exactly the same problems. I think it’s that particular ‘number’. Oh well, at least I now know my computer’s networking configuration inside-out.

Just while I’m here, it might be a little quiet in these parts for a bit. It’s 2.5 weeks until deadline day, and I still have two projects left to shoot, 3.2 workbooks to put together and a 3k essay to hone. I haven’t picked up my guitar in a fortnight, I haven’t danced in almost a month, people are asking about non-existent birthday plans, which isn’t going to happen, and there’s other unpleasant stuff I’m trying to work through. Which isn’t to complain…well, I suppose it is a bit to complain. But the 23rd of May will see all the work finished, one way or another, and you know what else is due that day? Indiana Jones and the goddamn Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, that’s what.

  1. this has needed doing for a long time, so it was a good excuse. I swapped it for a Netgear DG834G, which is possibly the best ADSL router in the world – I’ve installed it for countless people as it Just Works Right []

It’s what deadlines are for

My big university project due date is tomo…today, and it’s just about finished. Which you’d obviously expect, but it was a close thing. Despite being determined not to leave things until the last minute I left uni just before 2200 today, and while I’m not happy with the standard of my ‘workbook’ – supposedly a chronicle of my project’s development, but actually a hastily assembled collection of scraps – the images themselves have turned out ok. It’ll be a hell of a relief to get it all handed in.

We got our first essay back last week, and somehow I managed to pull off a 73/80. I did choose the english lit. style ‘compare and contrast’ question, mind – played to my strengths a bit, there. I don’t think this project will do so well due to the low standard of accompanying materials (to say nothing of the images themselves), but I’ve learnt that workbooks are actually cool and not just a chore, so I’ll definitely assemble one properly next term.

This time tomorrow it might actually feel quite Christmassy.

Applying for jobs

Not to be too dramatic about it, but I have two financial crises on the horizon. Well, they used to be on the horizon, but have now climbed my neighbour’s fence and are currently drooling onto his dahlias. My fixed-rate mortgage is going to end in September, and it’s going to go up a lot. And come next February I’ll have a large tax bill to pay. I’ve been living fairly close to the edge for a while now and it’s been ok, but I haven’t a hope of coping if nothing changes, so it is therefore time for me to get a proper part-time job. Which is fine and will be a blessed relief. It’ll also give me a little extra capital, and it’ll be nice to buy books without feeling guilty.

I’ve applied for jobs at the local library before, and as it happens they recently announced two full-time vacancies. But, I can’t pull that off once my university course starts in whenever (I haven’t heard anything since the acceptance letter, which is getting worrying). Happily there are a couple of other options. Today I applied for insanely cool dream job. Really, it would be fantastic. I’ve no clue what my chances are, but if I have no luck I’ll apply for a part-time post at the local Jessops. I was going through all sorts of I’m-24-I-should-be-past-retail-work silliness for a while, but I now think it’d be a good job, particularly if I’m doing the photography degree at the same time. It’s within walking distance and I’d at least have some idea of what I’m talking about. And, you know, discounts 🙂


I finished a big project today, and am finally able to relax. It’s possible there’ll be more to do, but the main body should be out of the way now. It’s a great relief – I was getting to the point where I felt guilty doing anything else. But now it’s over, and there’s now nothing standing between me and editing the NaNoWriMo novel. Yikes.