Archive for October, 2012

New Job

Posted in General, Work on October 28, 2012 by thecognitivekey

I started a new job on the 15th October. Hurrah! It’s a high status job. Working shifts so even better. I am really looking forward to learning the job (estimated training time is 9 months). This job could see me through to retirement – hurrah!

Day 7. I have to call in sick. Awake all night with shivers and sweats and a very sore back. The doctor thinks the two are unrelated (so do I). The flu-like symptoms of high temperature (she says mine is 38.2C) are probably a virus, maybe flu. Keep an eye of things and come back if anything changes, rest, fluids and paracetamol.

Day 8. Not back at work yet. Awoke after another hot and sticky night to find my left leg has gone red. Temperature is a bit lower. Not sure what to do about the leg. Should I go back to the doctor? It’s a bit of a wussy thing to do. Make an appointment to see the duty doctor. I tell him about the flu-like symptoms and how my leg has gone red. Show me the leg he says. Very interesting (don’t you worry when they say that), it’s a cellulitis, that is interesting he says. This is the cause of the flu-like symptoms. I need rest, fluids and penicillin, 2 kinds. I might be able to go back to work Friday…it’s now Wednesday. Oh and keep the leg raised to allow it to drain.

Leg on Wednesday

Day 10. Not back at work. No real visible improvement. Back to see the duty doctor, the one I saw the first time. She asks if she had missed the redness on my leg – no I say, it wasn’t there when you checked me on Tuesday, it arrived overnight. That’s interesting she said. She takes my temperature, it’s going down. Pulse and blood pressure, OK. I am looking to go back to work on Monday. She shakes her head. Very optimistic. I could go back if the swelling was gone or I could keep my leg raised all day at work. Leg raising at work is frowned upon so I will have to wait for the swelling to go down. Damn.

Sunday. Checking out the swelling. It’s still there. I am not going to be able to go to work Monday and probably not Tuesday or Wednesday either. I have an appointment to see my doctor Tuesday evening so I hope to learn more then. In the meantime I shall have to stay in bed with my leg raised. It’s uncomfortable. I pass the time reading on the Kindle. Getting through books at a bit of a pace

Two legs, spot the swollen one

Both doctors have threatened that if things don’t improve I will have to go to hospital for intravenous antibiotics.

Oh joy

Work status:

Days in job: 10
Days at work: 6
Days sick: 4

The 39 Steps – John Buchan

Posted in Books on October 27, 2012 by thecognitivekey

I don’t think I have seen the film fully – I always join it part way through. So I know the middle and end…

It starts at a pace. Already Hannay has been caught up in the plot and will shortly go on the run following the murder of a man in his apartment. Some odd things already, apparently it was a simple enough thing in those days to be able to get a dead body to assist in faking a death, there are racist undertones (not so under at points), the anarchists Hannay is about to take on are backed by the Jews. I shall have to check when the book was written, it has attitudes of its time. Interesting, the story was first serialised in 1915, and is set in pre-war 1914).

The book moves apace. Hannay goes on the run to Scotland. It is a very Boy’s Own Paper type story. The good guys are instantly recognisable and he blurts out the tale time after time. In turn they help him instead of turning him over to the police. He is caught and he knowledge of explosives allows his escape. The luckiest of men-on-the-run he eventually gets back to London, plays a main part in identifying and then capturing the bad guys. The Germans of course.

Despite the odd attitudes (to modern eyes), the book is pacy, the story is totally unbelievable, the twists and turns so unlikely. Meeting chaps who instantly become good pals and have highly powerful uncles. Very BOP. It could have graced BOP at almost any time.

As for the film version of 1935. The film bears little relation to the book. The book has no heroine, and the 39 Steps are not a secret weapon, there is no music hall finale. The book is maybe better though I would have to see the film again to be certain.

One odd thing that struck me. A high ranking French naval officer is to go back to France, the cross-channel ferry is no good so he is to go from Portsmouth on a destroyer. A destroyer to return a French naval officer? Maybe it was the time for such things but I would have thought something a shade smaller would have been more likely.

And one other odd thing. Early on there is a Latin quote which is never explained. Mors Janua Vitae – which is Death, the Gateway to Life – was this a commonplace phrase in 1915?

An entertaining read, probably not one to re-read

The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins

Posted in Books on October 26, 2012 by thecognitivekey

A stone is stolen from an Indian idol. It is a religious icon. The man who stole it has been snubbed by his family, yet he leaves it to his niece in his will. The Moonstone though carries with it a danger, it is wanted by followers of the Indian religious order it was stolen from. The niece has received the gem for her 21st birthday, but it has been lost. The Indians who were on the trail are not the ones to have taken it…there is more to this family and their staff than it first seems…

It’s more interesting than I have described. The narrator at the moment is the butler of the family home. He is a reader of Robinson Crusoe and uses it as a guide to life’s problems. Interesting, I shall have to find out why the infatuation with Crusoe – was there some feud between Collins and Defoe. The story at the moment is concentrating on the family home and the search for the gem amongst the inmates, both above- and below-stairs. A detective novel of sorts…but now the detective has been dismissed from the case. Interesting that the family just hire a police detective to solve the case, but can just pull him from it on a whim. When did that all change?

The narration duties are shared amongst the key characters…and characters they are, quirky and very likeable…it is a good story and it works. All the loose ends are resolved and everyone is happy, or most at least. I was sorry it ended as it was such an enjoyable read.

Well written, and well paced, it does make me wonder at times how they used to teach writers in those days…modern writers could learn a thing or two from these classics. But having said that maybe there was a large amount of rubbish then too, it’s just the good stuff that has survived. With luck the Harry Potters of now won’t survive into the next century.

Car Insurance Renewal – A Win

Posted in Customer Service, General on October 10, 2012 by thecognitivekey

I am insured with Insure. They are competitive, they have to be, else I’d not be with them. Maybe not the cheapest but close. Last year I ran a renewal quote this year through GoCompare and it appears my insurance has gone down a few pounds. Excellent. All I need is the renewal quote from them and I’m sorted for another year.

Being impatient I do rather expect my quote to arrive a month before renewal…it hadn’t and it’s a couple of weeks till renewal. If I want to go elsewhere it’s starting to get close to the deadline. So I emailed them. No response – and then the postman delivered the renewal quote. Just too quick off the mark again.

The renewal quote though is £28 more than the internet quote. Both have the same cover. A quick phone call to Insure and they tell me that there must be something extra in their renewal quote. It turns out there is. An old claim for a windscreen has turned into an assault (that’s what she said!). Having corrected it, it’s almost the same as the internet…just £5 more. As I am on the phone I query this too, a further change and the quote is down less that the internet quote. Sounds good to me. Thanks, I’ll take it.

I must be one of the few to get insurance cheaper than last year – same insurance company and same details, car etc.

The Lost World – Arthur Conan Doyle

Posted in Books on October 2, 2012 by thecognitivekey

We’ve all seen the film. Now back to the book. It is absorbing. Quite well written. The plot moves along nicely. There are sections though where there is an enormous leap in the plot. Almost as though the author got bored with that part or found it too difficult to write. The escape from the Lost World just happens. It would have been nicer to have had some deeper analysis and description.  A couple of points which don’t stand muster these days. A pair of anthropologists who plot and execute the annihilation of a race of prehistoric man…a difficult one for them to justify I’d have thought. Maybe that’s what they did then. Kill it and preserve the body rather than observe and record its behaviour. The treatment of women and native indians leaves a little too my modern standards. But I suppose it was fine by the standards of the age. I am glad to have read it, but I don’t think I shall be reading it again. Maybe watch the film instead.