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Jo Ramsay

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March 16th, 2009


06:30 am
Blizzard are running a writing competition for fanfic writers. I posted about this on my gaming blog and just copying here cos I think there might be some people reading who would be interested.

In other news, I'm on twitter now as copperbird -- I can't promise to tweet about anything interesting, I'm still trying to find my way with it. But feel free to friend me.

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February 5th, 2009


04:26 pm
Aldi may be the only supermarket in existence where you can find a cement mixer on one of the aisles.

But I got a frozen goose for £12, which is awesome really. Had to carry it home ofc and the bag broke but sometimes you have to suffer for your art. Although not as much as the goose did.

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December 26th, 2008


09:58 am
Lazy day yesterday. Saw Hansel and Gretel on TV and thought it was a rocking production. Dr Who was entertaining (as long as you don't spend too long thinking about it). Also caught bits of My Fair Lady, Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and Strictly Come Dancing Xmas Special.

Cooked an organic chicken for lunch which was very nice. Loads left over so will probably be risotto today and some into the freezer/fridge for future use.

Found out that when we go to see my mother in law on Saturday, we are actually staying overnight. (Rob was aware of this but had neglected to inform me.) This adds a minor layer of hassle to the weekend because a) I had meals planned out so as to use up leftovers that need to be rethought and b) am seeing vick on Sunday so now I have to go direct from Yvonne's. I mostly gripe because my MIL lives 10 mins away from a station from which we have a direct train home so I just don't see why we need to stay over. Plus I don't see why seeing her has to take up most of the weekend -- I'd see her far more often if we could just drop in for a couple of hours every other saturday or something.

ok, rant over.

Scored a coup in the sales today: first 3 seasons of BSG plus the miniseries for £30. I actually just wanted season 2 but the box set was cheaper.

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December 17th, 2008


12:04 pm - Buying computer games for kids
I thought this was quite a good blog post. Crispy Gamer has 10 no bullshit rules for non-gaming parents to follow when buying computer games for kids.

As s/he says, there are a lot of rubbish games out there, but also some gems. Why not buy good games if you're buying games at all? He has a list of 25 recommended games for kids too.

edited to add: sorry, link fixed.

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December 16th, 2008


06:47 am
Just read this news story about overpayments that had been made to civil service pensioners and I am still mouth-open aghast just thinking about what this is going to mean.

To put some context in, we see quite a few people at the CAB who are in heavy debt due to tax credit overpayment -- ie. they were paid too much and the inland revenue want it back, but not realising it was an overpayment they already spent it and so can't pay it back. Now it puts the government in a tricky position because they will want to claw some of the money back if they can, but it's horrible press to see lots of pensioners on the breadline or in debt because of something that (rightly or wrongly) isn't their fault.

I expect to see pensions getting reduced for these people, and just like when people get made redundant, if they'd been used to budgeting on a higher income there could be a lot of trouble brewing. And that's assuming that xafinity don't try to recoup their losses.

I assume there will be some kind of megamassive fine for the company involved, but right now the government won't want to be bankrupting them because they're a large employer too.

I have a bad vibe.

And they'd been overpaying for /30 years/.

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November 21st, 2008


07:06 am - You've heard of poetry on the underground
... so now how about poetry in the pub toilet?

The pub where we do the pub quiz has outweirded itself. They've decided to post up a poem every week based on various punters favourite poems (no, the first one wasn't If :) ). And as well as posting them around the pub, they've stuck copies up in the loo as well.

Obscurely, in the ladies they stuck it to the OUTSIDE of the toilet door which would be something to read while queueing if the toilet was actually large enough to have a queue (which it isn't).

Anyway, this poem was Thomas Hood's November which caused great mirth on our table because every time someone went to the loo they came back giggling, "Hey, that poem has the line 'no feeling in every member'". You'd think it might get less funny after the fifth time, but apparently not!

I blame the beer.

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November 18th, 2008


12:43 pm - Sometimes the crops don't fail
I had quite a stressful day at the CAB last week, was quietly working on casework when I was asked to see an emergency case. What this meant in practice is that the guy had walked in and told reception that he and his wife were homeless and sleeping rough and he didn't know what to do.

So I talked to him and got all the details, and then the fun started because when you are homeless in the UK and want to be housed, you go to your local council and they have a certain duty of care to check that you count as homeless according to their criteria (and whether you fall into their remit) and to do something about it. He had been to our local council and filled in some forms and given them various details and paperwork but they'd been curiously lethargic about wanting to act on it. Cue a big argument in the CAB backroom about whether the council were being deliberately slow and what we should do about it.

I was standing there feeling a bit in over my head while the more experienced advisers gave me varying conflicting instructions since I haven't worked on any homeless cases yet and all I knew was what was on the computer about it.

In the end, I:

1. gave him the number for the social fund crisis loans (you can get a loan from the fund for various emergency cases, which includes for a deposit on private rented accomodation if you can prove that you would otherwise be homeless)
2. phoned the council
3. phoned the council again after my supervisor noted that I'd forgotten to ask them something
4. wrote a letter to the council which I gave to the client to show them (basically quoting chapter and verse of the housing act and reminding them of their duty)
5. sent client off to go back to the housing centre at the council, and give them the letter and the rest of his paperwork
6. told him which benefits he was entitled to and sent him off to go claim them afterwards. (Err, I mean I advised him that it might be a good idea :P )

I was fairly exhausted by the end of the day. Then I came in this week and found that ... he'd rung us on the Thursday to say that the council were going to house he and his wife and had found them interrim accomodation.

So ... sometimes it all works.

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November 4th, 2008


01:00 pm
Finished my baby surprise jacket yesterday and sewed buttons on just in time to take it round to friend who had baby last week. No idea if it fits (baby had just gone to sleep) but told her to feel free to give it back or take it to a charity shop if it isn't any use.

I was impressed because it actually looked like a jacket. Go me.

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October 3rd, 2008


02:45 pm - About Ian Blair
In a move that will have surprised approximately no-one, Boris Johnson prodded Sir Ian Blair out of office. I think he would have had to go anyway but having BoJo take a smug personal hand is a really bad sign. And what's worse:

Friends of Blair said last night that when the commissioner suggested he should stay until a replacement had been found, he was told: "We don't want a successor appointed. We will have an acting arrangement until a Conservative home secretary arrives.

So London isn't to get a top policeman appointed until they've been politically approved and vetted? Really? How he can get away with this boggles my mind.

Ken Livingston has a piece on this also.

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September 24th, 2008


12:53 am
Apparently Phoenix Wright is getting his own musical (he's a video game character on the DS). I couldn't make this stuff up. It'll be like Rumpole of the Bailey with anime hair. Can't wait? (!)

Oh. It's going to be a cross-dressing all female cast, naturally. Here's a picture.

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