danagryphon: (writing)
So in the last week, I've gotten both the Kindle Fire HD AND my first smartphone. One of the things that has made me resistant to getting a smart phone is that I'm easily intimidated by new technology (snort... yeah, I know. WTF is an MIT nerd doing being a technophobe??? My only excuse is 'hey, I'm a biologist.'). But since I needed to learn the Android OS for the Fire anyway, I might as well go all-in and do the phone too. Also, I got a plan on the phone that will give me a mobile hotspot, which will come in handy for the Fire on the train, and in case I need to go to my Dad's house again for an extended stay (he doesn't have internet).

Funny story, the mobile hotspot wouldn't activate properly, so I had to call Verizon. Turns out it was something on their end, with a block that had been put on the phone that shouldn't. But the tech actually complimented me that for someone who had only had their first smartphone for 2 days, I was very adept at "speaking the language". HAHAHAH.

Anyway, an added side bonus to all this steep learning is that I'm also getting more familiar with my new PC that hubby got me for Xmas, running Windows 8, which is annoyingly cleverly designed to mimic Android/app technology.

After getting very frustrated trying to transfer tons of data from my work Mac to my home PC via various clouds, I also sprang for a couple of high capacity flash drives, which will also let me store some stuff I don't access regularly (like about 15GB of eBook files and about 80GB of music and video.

The only other frustration I've run into so far is that I can't seem to get my non-Amazon ebook files (MOBI) to show up properly on the Fire. It keeps sticking them in Docs instead of Books. Although honestly, I'm not that worried about it, because I'm keeping my Kindle Touch as my primary reading tool. The e-Ink/paperwhite technology is SO much easier on the eyes than the backlit Fire screen. Oh, and I need to see if there is a way to keep E's Fire from accessing the Amazon Cloud that is unfortunately linked to both our Fires. There is no reason for him to access any of that information. I'm hoping there is a way, but I haven't had any time yet to put into investigating it.

Using the Fire for writing is impacting the way I organize files for my stories. I do find that the app I am using (OliveOffice) does sometimes screw with text, so I'm breaking big stories up into smaller files for each chapter, instead of one big long file for the entire story. And then I'm copying what I've written back over to the cloud or my PC every day or two. And when the story is done, I'll reassemble it on the PC and fix any formatting (mostly page breaks). So that is not a big inconvenience, especially since I have taken to posting longer stories a chapter at a time on the usual fanfic sites. The only other things I miss are the thesaurus and spell-check in MSWord, but 1) I can spell check when copying back to PC and 2) losing the thesaurus may not be a bad thing either, and if I really need it, can fix word choices in editing. All in all, I'm finding the writing experience pretty good, and I'm hoping it will boost my productivity.

I got this cool little shoulder bag that nicely fits both Kindles and a couple of accessories, with enough room for a couple of other commuting essentials (tissues, gum, pens, a paper calendar book). M called it a purse (which I suppose it really is), but to it's my commuting bag as far as I'm concerned (I don't carry a purse, and my wallet lives in my pocket).

Anyway, the only drawback to all this stuff is that it sucks power like a Hoover, and it all needs to be recharged pretty much every day, unlike my Kindle Touch which can go for weeks between charging. Which does mean that it won't be very useful for longer term trips without electricity (i.e. weekend camping, or a week at Pennsic or scout camp), but that may be a good thing. A person should have a forced unplugging every now and then.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
So back in mid-July, I got a ticket in the parking lot at the commuter rail, even though I DID pay the fee. It took 3 days and emails through the commuter rail site complaining about it to finally get someone to call me and confirm that I had paid, and the ticked was voided.

Well, they did it again. Only this time, they ticketed me for a numbered space I WASN'T EVEN PARKED IN. I was parked in the space NEXT to it. And again, I paid. However, since the person in the spot I was ticketed for had a monthly parking pass, of course there wasn't any payment in the honor box for that spot. Just can't figure out why they decided to ticket ME for that.

Morons.

I wonder how long it'll take to fix it this time. And I do plan to raise a stink about the fact that this is the second time I've gotten an undeserved ticket.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
So back in mid-July, I got a ticket in the parking lot at the commuter rail, even though I DID pay the fee. It took 3 days and emails through the commuter rail site complaining about it to finally get someone to call me and confirm that I had paid, and the ticked was voided.

Well, they did it again. Only this time, they ticketed me for a numbered space I WASN'T EVEN PARKED IN. I was parked in the space NEXT to it. And again, I paid. However, since the person in the spot I was ticketed for had a monthly parking pass, of course there wasn't any payment in the honor box for that spot. Just can't figure out why they decided to ticket ME for that.

Morons.

I wonder how long it'll take to fix it this time. And I do plan to raise a stink about the fact that this is the second time I've gotten an undeserved ticket.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
So the Littleton commuter station now has an honor box for their parking lots.

This morning, I parked, and went and put my $4 in the honor box. Yes, I put in all $4. Yes, I put it in the right slot. And when I got back to my car this evening, there was a fucking ticket on my windshield.

I called the number on the ticket and left a voicemail. However, they say right on the message that they don't give credit for partial payments (which this wasn't) or payments put in the wrong slot (which this wasn't), and that they only check the messages once a day in the morning and return the calls that day. Which means I won't hear from them until Monday.

Oh, and of course, I have abso-fucking-lutely no proof whatsoever that I made the full payment into the correct slot. Because it's a fucking HONOR box.

So today's parking is probably going to cost me a total of $9, being the $4 I put in the box this morning, and the $5 ticket ($4 plus $1 service charge, which becomes $20 service charge if not paid within 3 days, which I'm assuming means "business days", since I'm sure I'm not going to hear back from them until Monday).

This so totally fucking sucks.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
So the Littleton commuter station now has an honor box for their parking lots.

This morning, I parked, and went and put my $4 in the honor box. Yes, I put in all $4. Yes, I put it in the right slot. And when I got back to my car this evening, there was a fucking ticket on my windshield.

I called the number on the ticket and left a voicemail. However, they say right on the message that they don't give credit for partial payments (which this wasn't) or payments put in the wrong slot (which this wasn't), and that they only check the messages once a day in the morning and return the calls that day. Which means I won't hear from them until Monday.

Oh, and of course, I have abso-fucking-lutely no proof whatsoever that I made the full payment into the correct slot. Because it's a fucking HONOR box.

So today's parking is probably going to cost me a total of $9, being the $4 I put in the box this morning, and the $5 ticket ($4 plus $1 service charge, which becomes $20 service charge if not paid within 3 days, which I'm assuming means "business days", since I'm sure I'm not going to hear back from them until Monday).

This so totally fucking sucks.

Unreal

Jul. 7th, 2011 07:44 am
danagryphon: (Cluebat)
So as of July 1, the private, pay-per-month assigned spaces lot that I parked in at the train station in Littleton was sold to the MBTA, along with another lot they just built behind it. Both these lots are now pay-per-day, on a first come basis. Part of this is a push to renovate the station, both to add a second track (there is currently only one track between the stop before Littleton to the end of the line in Fitchburg; this is why the schedule is so sparse for that section) as well as to make the station handicap accessible.

As part of the renovation, all the free parking spaces (of which there were about 45 official, and another 20 or so in a dirt area adjacent) are going away. They jersey-barriered off the dirt area and the big section of free parking, but there were also about 4 spaces (which usually got expanded to about 8 or so by people who parked where they weren't really supposed to) behind the train platform itself. Tuesday, those spaces were still occupied. Yesterday, the area was taped off in the morning, with a couple of cars still parked there. Yesterday evening, the area was jersey-barriered except for one still occupied space (and said vehicle was ticketed). This morning, they put up barriers in that space, but now someone parked NEXT to the barriers, still trying to eek out a free space for a while, I guess.

Well, is that person going to be in for a surprise this evening. There is now yellow caution tape strung behind the car's bumper to block off the area, and a ticket on the windshield.

It's not like they haven't given plenty of notice that all the parking was going to be pay there. They started putting up notices two weeks in advance, and leafletting everyone's cars. There are big signs that say, "Parking $4 Per Day". And then there are all the jersey barriers everywhere. But no, someone still has it in their head that they are still going to squeeze in where ever they can to avoid paying $4 to park. Yeah, well, that worked out so well.

I wonder how much the ticket is for.

Unreal

Jul. 7th, 2011 07:44 am
danagryphon: (Cluebat)
So as of July 1, the private, pay-per-month assigned spaces lot that I parked in at the train station in Littleton was sold to the MBTA, along with another lot they just built behind it. Both these lots are now pay-per-day, on a first come basis. Part of this is a push to renovate the station, both to add a second track (there is currently only one track between the stop before Littleton to the end of the line in Fitchburg; this is why the schedule is so sparse for that section) as well as to make the station handicap accessible.

As part of the renovation, all the free parking spaces (of which there were about 45 official, and another 20 or so in a dirt area adjacent) are going away. They jersey-barriered off the dirt area and the big section of free parking, but there were also about 4 spaces (which usually got expanded to about 8 or so by people who parked where they weren't really supposed to) behind the train platform itself. Tuesday, those spaces were still occupied. Yesterday, the area was taped off in the morning, with a couple of cars still parked there. Yesterday evening, the area was jersey-barriered except for one still occupied space (and said vehicle was ticketed). This morning, they put up barriers in that space, but now someone parked NEXT to the barriers, still trying to eek out a free space for a while, I guess.

Well, is that person going to be in for a surprise this evening. There is now yellow caution tape strung behind the car's bumper to block off the area, and a ticket on the windshield.

It's not like they haven't given plenty of notice that all the parking was going to be pay there. They started putting up notices two weeks in advance, and leafletting everyone's cars. There are big signs that say, "Parking $4 Per Day". And then there are all the jersey barriers everywhere. But no, someone still has it in their head that they are still going to squeeze in where ever they can to avoid paying $4 to park. Yeah, well, that worked out so well.

I wonder how much the ticket is for.
danagryphon: (Discourse Hand)
So. The trains run through Littleton normally at 5:43, 6:30, 7:00, and 7:24. Most days, I either catch the 7:00 (express) train if I don't have to drop the boys off at school at 7, or the 7:24 (non-express) one if I do. Well, this morning, I didn't have the boys to get to school, but I was feeling kinda lazy, so I decided to wait and take the 7:24.

Oh. Freaking. Boy.

So I get to the station, in the pouring rain, and the status sign says "Trains 404 and 406 NOT MOVING behind disabled track maintenance equipment". Train 404 is first train of the morning that leaves Fitchburg at 5:15 and comes through Littleton at 5:43. So NO TRAINS had come through the station AT ALL yet.

Finally, a train comes rolling into the station around 7:30, so it actually doesn't work out too bad for me, I'm only running about 10 minutes later than I planned. But some of the people on that train had been on it for over 2 hours already, sitting on the track (because there is only a single track between South Acton and Fitchburg) while they waited for the MBCR asshats to move the piece of equipment off the track that had gotten left there OVERNIGHT. O.M.G.

I'm surprised the train crew survived.

But there must have been some sort of weird energy floating around, because while I was doing my usual morning writing session, I do believe I came up with some truly evil plot twists, possibly involving attempted genocide. Because every post-apocalyptic utopia has to have a little dystopia thrown in for good measure, right? And just because the race of mutants LOOKS like angels sure as heck don't mean they ACT like angels. Bwahahahahahahaah.
danagryphon: (Discourse Hand)
So. The trains run through Littleton normally at 5:43, 6:30, 7:00, and 7:24. Most days, I either catch the 7:00 (express) train if I don't have to drop the boys off at school at 7, or the 7:24 (non-express) one if I do. Well, this morning, I didn't have the boys to get to school, but I was feeling kinda lazy, so I decided to wait and take the 7:24.

Oh. Freaking. Boy.

So I get to the station, in the pouring rain, and the status sign says "Trains 404 and 406 NOT MOVING behind disabled track maintenance equipment". Train 404 is first train of the morning that leaves Fitchburg at 5:15 and comes through Littleton at 5:43. So NO TRAINS had come through the station AT ALL yet.

Finally, a train comes rolling into the station around 7:30, so it actually doesn't work out too bad for me, I'm only running about 10 minutes later than I planned. But some of the people on that train had been on it for over 2 hours already, sitting on the track (because there is only a single track between South Acton and Fitchburg) while they waited for the MBCR asshats to move the piece of equipment off the track that had gotten left there OVERNIGHT. O.M.G.

I'm surprised the train crew survived.

But there must have been some sort of weird energy floating around, because while I was doing my usual morning writing session, I do believe I came up with some truly evil plot twists, possibly involving attempted genocide. Because every post-apocalyptic utopia has to have a little dystopia thrown in for good measure, right? And just because the race of mutants LOOKS like angels sure as heck don't mean they ACT like angels. Bwahahahahahahaah.
danagryphon: (Cluebat)
So riding the commuter rail and subway is always a study in the special snowflakes of the world.

Today was no exception.

I had to be at B's school for parent/teacher conferences almost immediately upon my arrival home, so I grabbed some McD's at North Station to eat on the train. So I get on the train carrying my McD's bag and soda, and pause at an empty spot in a double seat, and wait for the woman in the other half of the seat to move her bag. She starts to move it, but then looks up and, upon spying my bag of food, she says to me, "Are you going to eat that here? If you really want to sit here, I'll move, but I just can't take *that*."

Blink.

All righty then.

So I say "Oooookay" in a very perplexed (but mild) tone, and move to the next seat behind her where there is also an empty spot. As I'm tossing by computer bag up into the luggage rack, I guess she decided that wasn't taking my food far enough away from her delicate sensibilities, and she gets up and moves several seats away anyway.

All righty then.

I'm not sure what "that" was that she couldn't take, whether it was any food, McD's specifically, or someone eating next to her. But whatever it was, perhaps she should rethink the whole public transportation thing if she's got that much of a problem with people eating around her.

Because she's a special snowflake!
danagryphon: (Cluebat)
So riding the commuter rail and subway is always a study in the special snowflakes of the world.

Today was no exception.

I had to be at B's school for parent/teacher conferences almost immediately upon my arrival home, so I grabbed some McD's at North Station to eat on the train. So I get on the train carrying my McD's bag and soda, and pause at an empty spot in a double seat, and wait for the woman in the other half of the seat to move her bag. She starts to move it, but then looks up and, upon spying my bag of food, she says to me, "Are you going to eat that here? If you really want to sit here, I'll move, but I just can't take *that*."

Blink.

All righty then.

So I say "Oooookay" in a very perplexed (but mild) tone, and move to the next seat behind her where there is also an empty spot. As I'm tossing by computer bag up into the luggage rack, I guess she decided that wasn't taking my food far enough away from her delicate sensibilities, and she gets up and moves several seats away anyway.

All righty then.

I'm not sure what "that" was that she couldn't take, whether it was any food, McD's specifically, or someone eating next to her. But whatever it was, perhaps she should rethink the whole public transportation thing if she's got that much of a problem with people eating around her.

Because she's a special snowflake!
danagryphon: (Discourse Hand)
To the jerk in the seat behind me on the train last night,

Thank you for not zipping up your backpack full of papers before plopping it in the luggage rack above my head. The continuous rain of crap on my head while I was trying to take a nap undoubtedly did wonders for my disposition. Once was forgivable, twice was annoying, thrice was downright ridiculous.

Are you by any chance related to the jerk last week who thought that, while working on his computer, the proper place for his elbow was firmly in my side? Because I know that his computer usage certainly takes priority over being able to share a seat without causing great discomfort to the other person. Do you have any sisters, like the two women with bags so freaking huge that it was only natural for them to use part of my lap to support them? Or the woman this morning sitting under the "no smoking" sign on the platform puffing away?

Thank you for contributing to the increased level of asshattery on the commuter rail lately.

Have a nice day.
danagryphon: (Discourse Hand)
To the jerk in the seat behind me on the train last night,

Thank you for not zipping up your backpack full of papers before plopping it in the luggage rack above my head. The continuous rain of crap on my head while I was trying to take a nap undoubtedly did wonders for my disposition. Once was forgivable, twice was annoying, thrice was downright ridiculous.

Are you by any chance related to the jerk last week who thought that, while working on his computer, the proper place for his elbow was firmly in my side? Because I know that his computer usage certainly takes priority over being able to share a seat without causing great discomfort to the other person. Do you have any sisters, like the two women with bags so freaking huge that it was only natural for them to use part of my lap to support them? Or the woman this morning sitting under the "no smoking" sign on the platform puffing away?

Thank you for contributing to the increased level of asshattery on the commuter rail lately.

Have a nice day.
danagryphon: (Gryph Avatar)
Shortly after I left the house this morning at a bit after 7, I got a call from M on my cell that the neighbors were at it again, and he was calling the police. Another knock-down, drag-out fight.

Lovely.

Then I got to the parking lot at the train station, to find someone parked in my numbered space. So, with less than 5 minutes until the train arrives, I had to figure out where to park. I didn't want to park in someone else's space, and have them displaced. Luckily, the person who normally parks next to me was getting out of her car and said that, when it happened to her, she was told to park in one of the 3 handicapped spaces that never get used, but to call the management company and tell them about it.

I was in too much of a fluster and a rush to write down the license plate of the car in my space, or to see if it had a parking sticker or not, to determine whether it was just someone trying to squat in my space, or someone who accidently parked in the wrong numbered space. Also, I didn't have one of the little notices that the management company had sent to put on the windshield of cars when parked in the wrong space, so I'll have to dig those out and start keeping them in my car in case it happens again.

Arg.

Anyway, M called and left a message with the landlords, who said that if the cops had to be called one more time, the neighbors were out. So we'll see what they have to say and whether they really follow through. If they don't, I think we will be moving out ourselves.

I have to make a decision about the condo, and whether to keep waiting on it, or to get out of it and get on with things. Part of that decision will depend on work. I'm going to talk to my boss this morning about the promised raise that was supposed to come when I took over the responsibilities for math as well as science (basically, doing the job of someone who left, on top of mine), and whether she thinks that is actually in the future or not. Because once I get that raise, I'm no longer going to meet the eligibility anyway for the condo. But with the extra money, I could rent a bigger and better place and still be more financially comfortable than I am now. And I could possibly look into buying a place in the next town over from Littleton, which has a lot of more affordable condos. I'm still not convinced on the whole buying thing anyway, with the instability of the housing market right now, and all the extra expenses that come with owning.

But there are a couple of cute houses for rent in Littleton right now, so I am feeling fairly confident in giving my landlord an "us or them" ultimatum if I have to. Because I will not expose my kids to that kind of environment.
danagryphon: (Gryph Avatar)
Shortly after I left the house this morning at a bit after 7, I got a call from M on my cell that the neighbors were at it again, and he was calling the police. Another knock-down, drag-out fight.

Lovely.

Then I got to the parking lot at the train station, to find someone parked in my numbered space. So, with less than 5 minutes until the train arrives, I had to figure out where to park. I didn't want to park in someone else's space, and have them displaced. Luckily, the person who normally parks next to me was getting out of her car and said that, when it happened to her, she was told to park in one of the 3 handicapped spaces that never get used, but to call the management company and tell them about it.

I was in too much of a fluster and a rush to write down the license plate of the car in my space, or to see if it had a parking sticker or not, to determine whether it was just someone trying to squat in my space, or someone who accidently parked in the wrong numbered space. Also, I didn't have one of the little notices that the management company had sent to put on the windshield of cars when parked in the wrong space, so I'll have to dig those out and start keeping them in my car in case it happens again.

Arg.

Anyway, M called and left a message with the landlords, who said that if the cops had to be called one more time, the neighbors were out. So we'll see what they have to say and whether they really follow through. If they don't, I think we will be moving out ourselves.

I have to make a decision about the condo, and whether to keep waiting on it, or to get out of it and get on with things. Part of that decision will depend on work. I'm going to talk to my boss this morning about the promised raise that was supposed to come when I took over the responsibilities for math as well as science (basically, doing the job of someone who left, on top of mine), and whether she thinks that is actually in the future or not. Because once I get that raise, I'm no longer going to meet the eligibility anyway for the condo. But with the extra money, I could rent a bigger and better place and still be more financially comfortable than I am now. And I could possibly look into buying a place in the next town over from Littleton, which has a lot of more affordable condos. I'm still not convinced on the whole buying thing anyway, with the instability of the housing market right now, and all the extra expenses that come with owning.

But there are a couple of cute houses for rent in Littleton right now, so I am feeling fairly confident in giving my landlord an "us or them" ultimatum if I have to. Because I will not expose my kids to that kind of environment.
danagryphon: (Pink Marriage)
So the Relatives visited.... )

Quite the busy weekend. Back to work on Monday, and a lurvely ride home last night. Due to mechanical problems with the bridge that all the commuter trains have to cross to get in or out of North Station, everyone was delayed. So for the Fitchburg line, they decided to skip the 4:40 express train (which only makes two stops before getting to Littleton) and jammed everyone from the 4:40 AND the 4:50 into one non-express train. Meh. SRO for over an hour. Oh joy. Well, at least I had a seat, even if it was smashed between a largish woman and a guy who decided I was encroaching on his computer workspace by sitting next to him. Personally, if I had been the person sitting in the seat that another guy was resting his laptop on the back of because he couldn't put the blasted thing away for an hour, there would have been one smashed computer on that train. So I guess it could have been worse. I had to call M and get him to pick up the kids, since I didn't get into Littleton in time to get E before the after school program closed at 6. Then M, in a rare fit of thoughtfulness and initiative, picked up pizza and fed the kids before I got home, so I didn't have to cook. Wow. And then the Sox lost again.
danagryphon: (Pink Marriage)
So the Relatives visited.... )

Quite the busy weekend. Back to work on Monday, and a lurvely ride home last night. Due to mechanical problems with the bridge that all the commuter trains have to cross to get in or out of North Station, everyone was delayed. So for the Fitchburg line, they decided to skip the 4:40 express train (which only makes two stops before getting to Littleton) and jammed everyone from the 4:40 AND the 4:50 into one non-express train. Meh. SRO for over an hour. Oh joy. Well, at least I had a seat, even if it was smashed between a largish woman and a guy who decided I was encroaching on his computer workspace by sitting next to him. Personally, if I had been the person sitting in the seat that another guy was resting his laptop on the back of because he couldn't put the blasted thing away for an hour, there would have been one smashed computer on that train. So I guess it could have been worse. I had to call M and get him to pick up the kids, since I didn't get into Littleton in time to get E before the after school program closed at 6. Then M, in a rare fit of thoughtfulness and initiative, picked up pizza and fed the kids before I got home, so I didn't have to cook. Wow. And then the Sox lost again.

December 2015

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930 31  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios