redfiona99: (Thinking)
What I lack in timeliness, I make up with by being right

First a statement of interests - neither I, nor any of the people in the group I work in are funded by Cancer Research UK. However, Cancer Research UK did fund the building we work in.

For those that missed it, basically a charity "no make-up selfie" thing swept the nation followed by a series of articles/blogposts/social media what have you all about how wrong it was. The complaints can be broken down into two main varieties:

1 - How dare people publicise their charitable donations? Cue, quite often, bonus rants about the same re: Race For Life and its ilk.

My immediate response is that I don't care if people get a ego-boner that can be seen from space when they publicise their donations, provided they've given money. In the words of Bob Geldof, "give us your fucking money."

Apparently, good people never mention charity drives. Quite frankly, I'll stick with the bad people.

2 - Why is it always for cancer?/Doesn't cancer get enough money?/Why not my charity of choice?

The main argument I saw was that mental illness is almost as prevalent as cancer* and therefore should get a bigger slice of the pie. Which I have little argument with. My response is, well fundraise then. The reason CRUK get a lot of money is that their fundraising department are leet ninja level. They get out there and do their thing and money comes in**.

A lot of people were bitching because "wah, cancer doesn't need more profile-raising," but these are the same people who were complaining about people publicising their fundraising. Maybe if they were less like shrinking violets then their own causes might get more of the limelight.

I am also peeved by the idea of people telling other people where to put their money. My charity pot goes to the Big Issue, MSF, Amnesty and Sloths, more or less in that proportion. And that's my right. It's other peoples's right to put their money where they want to.

As I've said, I work in a cancer research building but the last on-site fundraising we did was for Anthony Nolan (please insert the usual have you considered signing up to Anthony Nolan message here. It's very easy. Please see here - We've raised money for the Samaritans, Alzheimers Research and Marie Curie before now. Yes, some of our fundraising is for Cancer Research, but mostly it's guerilla fundraising for people whose projects have shown promise in animal studies but haven't been funded for human trials yet. If those projects can have the funds to get some starting results, then it'll help them get funding in the next round. The project we're fundraising for at the minute is for late-stage multi-resistance breast cancer. The last one was for a cheap way of treating endemic-type Burkitt's Lymphoma in Africa (

And yeah, maybe cancer gets an unfair slice of the pie, but as populations everywhere get older, it's going to become more important. Huge strides have been made, and there's no point stopping now. A commenter on the 'In The Pipeline' blog ( is a retired GP, or whatever the American equivalent is, and I think he phrased it best when he said that, when he started childhood leukaemia was a death sentence, now they're worrying about making sure the treatment doesn't affect the children of the patients.

Cancer vs mental illness is also a really poor comparison to make, scientifically. Cancer is easier to study, both in animals and man, than mental illness. We've got half-decent models for a lot of cancers and nothing like that for mental illness. How, as it where, do you measure schizophrenia in mice?

Even with human patients, drugs for combating mental illnesses appear to have large placebo effects (and horrid side-effects) and seem to have wide-ranges of effectiveness. Part of the problem is that clinical diagnosis is symptom-based rather than cause-based, making it hard to tell if all patients with disease x will respond to drug y which attacks target z, when we don't know if z is non-functional in all of them.

But yeah, it's either rant here or tear some RL peeps to shreds on Facebook and I try not to do that. Even when I'm feeling rage-beasty.

* there can be no dealing with people who think 1/3 of 60 million is similar to 1/4 of 60 million, but we'll let that stand.

** second statemnt of interest - I used to volunteer in an Imperial Cancer Research charity shop before their merged with the one to form Cancer Research UK
redfiona99: (Thinking)
And I had so been hoping to reach 30 with all my teeth.

Yes, that really is how low my aims are when it comes to my teeth.

After an unfortunate encounter with a toffee muffin some years ago, I had sworn off toffee. Despite loving it. So when my grandmother bought me toffee as a random gift, I thought, oh go on, why not.

I am an idiot.

Over ~ a month, I'd slowly got through the packet, and on Saturday I reached the last three or four when suddenly crunch. I took the toffee out of my mouth, couldn't see any part of my tooth on the toffee. But still sore. And it didn't get any better on Sunday or this morning. So my colleagues sent me to the dentist.

The dentist eventually found the problem, basically the filling in my C6 molar had split, breaking the tooth wall around it on one side. In the process of fixing this, the filling came apart, and basically my whole tooth crumbled in on itself. Not the dentist's fault, because it was one of the teeth I have that was holding on on a wing and a prayer.

It does leave me with a bit of a problem, since I suspect the two teeth around the absence aren't strong enough to hold a bridge, and I loathe having partial dentures (or rather the retainers that go with them), I think I'm going to wind up having an implant. To which I say, thank goodness for local anaesthetics.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
I fear my letter to the insurance company is slowly turning into this

redfiona99: (fencing)
Came 3rd at the Ashton. Lost my semi 14-15, which is :( but I know where I went wrong and next time I will win. (insert evil laughter)

Unfortunately, it turns out that the mold has attacked two of my coats which are presently being boiled alive in the washing machine. I doubt it will rescue them but it's worth a go.

I've also managed to stab myself in the hand (thankfully, my left) with a glass pipette. Our official health and safety form now says "users have been told to use with due care and attention" possibly because "[real name redacted] is dipsy" doesn't sound particularly official.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
So Tripod have, for the time being, kicked me off their website for suspicious content, despite me having disclaimered everything up the wazoo. So suggestions for other website hosting places are gratefully received.


Let's not get into the building management company still not getting back to me 4 days after I asked them something. There shall be phone calls on Monday.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Ah yes, I know -

The Twist In The Tale Your humble narrator had organised a visit by the plumber to the flat upstairs. I was unable to supervise as I had to journey to a conference in far off Leicester (conference totally worth it).

I arrived back home to find things still dripping so I called the plumbers on Saturday and they were all like "we went, we checked, we found nothing." Which, as you can imagine was a bit worrying. So I get them to send another plumber out to mine to see if it could still be something wrong with my plumbing.

So on Monday, they do.

No, says the plumber, definitely coming from upstairs. So I call the building management company, get the plumber to talk to them, and they agree to send someone out today.

The Betrayal

So the man from the building management company came and goes, "yup, definitely upstairs, definitely dangerous." Because the very name of the building management company causes terror, I managed to get upstairs neighbour to let the guy into his flat to see if it could be from somewhere really obscure.

It turns out, after a lot of grunting and rust, there's a giant leak underneath upstairs's bath. You know, where the plumbers were supposed to check. So he's been told not to use his bath and to get it fixed. He asked me to get him a plumber so I'm trying to get hold of the original plumbing company and getting them to do it (because they're not fly by night most of the time) free of charge.

The State of Play So yeah, we know where the leak is, we know it can be fixed and my ceiling is drying out.

Unfortunately, until it is dry, the circuit that the lights in my hallway are on has had to be isolated. More unfortunately, I only have one light circuit so I have no lights in my flat at the moment.

However I have just bought a new torch that is brilliant ( I really can't recommend it enough.


Sep. 18th, 2013 09:04 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Because there has been no movement on the leak front and I have been forced to write a somewhat brusque e-mail, because upstairs refuses to be in for the plumber to turn up.

There is only one thing I want to ask - Seriously Mourinho, what is your problem with Juan Mata? Is it because he was one of AVB’s buys? Is it because he looks like the other Portuguese one?

What is your problem?
redfiona99: (Thinking)
The plumber allegedly didn't call today, so I have now been tasked with reorganising the appointment which I fear will involve calming the plumbing company down and hearing about how upstairs blew off today's appointment. I have no evidence of this and I'm probably being an evil minded shrew but ... it's so bad that I'm looking forward to TNA.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
There is definitely a plumber coming tomorrow, because upstairs just got me to organise it for him.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Well, one of them has but unfortunately the circuit breaker that controls that light also does all the other lights in my flat.

At the minute I have a choice between darkness and a peculiar and worrying burning smell.

Upstairs is, unsurprisingly, out. I am keeping a beady ear out and then doing the stompy dance of "have you called a plumber yet?" when he comes in.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Thankfully I hadn't left for the friend's wedding so I've been able to put a bucket under the new leak, which is somehow worse than the old one (although it's on the same line of plumbing).

Get this though, I run upstairs to ask upstairs whether he's called a plumber yet. He says, couldn't I call a plumber since it's leaking into my flat, so I have to explain to him that the leak is from his flat so he has to call the plumber. He asks me to give him the number of mine (which I do). So hopefully this will be sorted soon.

Because I am running out of buckets.

Also, off to a wedding, be back Monday.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Plumbing - Because I'm sure you're all as interested in it as I am ;) Basically, I've been in contact with the upstairs neighbour, who is much nicer than the previous post made him sound, and he's going to get it fixed, although given how confused he sounded by the concept of "get a plumber", I'm glad I've also got the building management company on it.

Puncturation - I had a blood test yesterday by one of those terrifying practice nurses who you can tell are practising. In between a highly unusual technique for getting the blood to start running (and I'm someone who bleeds well) and the "whoops, let me just get a different vial for a different test while holding the needle in and then standing up" manoeuvre, I have a particularly lovely bruise.

A Music Video - I'm really digging this at the minute

I do warn that it's an earworm though.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Well I now have a small hole in my kitchen ceiling but it is a force for good. Or at least not bad. And it turns out that that peculiar musty smell was not my sink, but the mysterious cupboard in the back of the kitchen that I never went into.

Unfortunately the leak is from upstairs, i.e. the flat of the man who pretends that he's not in when I knock on the door. Unfortunately for him, I have the building management agency's address, e-mail address and phone number. And I have my mother's boyfriend to help out if necessary. This will be fixed, or else.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
There are plumbing issues (and separate but annoying front door lock issues) in my block of flats. Upstairs insist it's not them, I know it's not me (my floor is dry, it's my ceiling and one wall with the problem and it's been happening while I've not been here) but I'm having the plumber out to check. I could have done without this.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Never mind allegedly Mayan prophecies, I have proof, not only have my Nan and my Mum's boyfriend started to speak to each other again after 10 years (they live in the same house) but my Mother and my aunt have agreed about something for the first time in my living memory. Admittedly the thing they're agreeing on is that my cousin is an unspeakable brat, but hey ho, progress.
redfiona99: (Default)
Tonight's plan is to watch TNA and then the US Election coverage.

And hope that my flat is fixed. And that the growed ups, who have been lovely and come down to wait for the plumber, have gone. Because there will be crisps and booze if I get my way.
redfiona99: (Default)
My flat has sprung a leak. I've managed to stop it, but not before it got into downstairs's flat. Thankfully my downstairs neighbour is being incredibly nice about it. Hopefully there'll be a plumber round tomorrow to fix it.



I came 10th (out of 30) at the Leeds Open. I think I fenced well, and I only lost 14-15 in the knock-out match I lost. I have to admit though that I was one of the ones that benefited from a mild (not the organiser's fault) rankings related snafu.

Basically, the poules for a competition are worked out according to the rankings, and unfortunately 3 overseas fencers with no British ranking turned up and threw the rankings out a bit (1 v good German, one American Professor of fencing).


Formula 1:

The bit in the build up of Adrian Newey driving his cars warmed my heart. I think that's the thing Red Bull are a team of tech geeks (and Ferrari are a racing team, hence their uselessness in qualifying). And Eddie Jordan is adorable, 'I didn't want to sign Adrian Newey because I was happy with Gary Anderson'. It's such a ridiculously nice thing to say. Eddie is adorable.

The rest is mostly Kimi-love )
redfiona99: (Default)
It looks like my Mum might get her wish and Christmas might be cancelled this year. My Uncle has (allegedly) done something so grossly selfish that my Nan is uninviting him from the Boxing Day celebrations.

So, I am planning to take back all my fun swordfighty and silly fantasy films in an attempt to cheer everyone up. I have Stardust and Prince of Persia, and I'm thinking of Inkheart. Any other suggestions? Sadly, films with elves and orcs are pre-blocked because my Mum disapproves.
redfiona99: (rl)
There's a reason this is my RL icon.

Avengers, X-Men: First Class and half a dozen other reviews forthcoming once I'm able to do anything that involves thought without cussing at PhD students. Or particular student.

It's either that or marveling at Ronnie O'Sullivan's snooker playing. When he's got his brain in gear he really is fantastic to watch.

Or cursing luck on behalf of poor Colin Edwards (MotoGP: Colin Edwards to have surgery on broken collarbone - The worst of it (other than this is the second time in two years) is that it wasn't even his accident. I shall allow Steve Parrish to explain: "Edwards was on a slow lap during qualifying but he did everything right as he got way off the racing line and he didn't even see Randy de Puniet coming.

De Puniet then unfortunately fell off and skittled Edwards with him. Edwards' first words to the marshals when they helped him were unprintable, but along the lines of "what was that?" He didn't even know what had happened."

(full article here -

Shakespeare Meme - Day #18: Your favorite dialogue

The bit I'm about to mention is my actual favourite, despite the temptation to say everything that comes out of Mercutio's mouth.

Henry V, act 3 scene 7 -

or from the start, to minute 7 of this

And yes, that is Julian Glover playing the Constable.

There's so many things I like about this dialogue. One is the word play, which is bitchy and funny, and actually quite caustic give that the only way for stuff to fall off armour in battle is if the person wearing it gets hit.

The second is that the Dauphin gets the verbal smackdown (to his face) that he's been deserving throughout the play. And the Constable gets to do it :)

I love the repetition of 'would it were day', because, well I certainly get like that between rounds in fencing so I can't imagine how much worse it would be for something that could lead to your death. It makes it seem more real.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (rl)
Other than the housing thing, which is just generally argh! at the moment, I bring you the following:

1) proteins - argh! Basically producing protein for a colleague, and there's a deadline and foreign travel involved. One of the blighters is not expressing. I can see it thumbing it's proteiny nose at me. This has meant I can't go to a friend's housewarming party in Oxford. Which is very annoying.

2) people criticising the drivers for going to Bahrain and/or their not speaking up about it. Now, I don't know if it's escaped people's attention but for several of the drivers, car driving is just about the only thing they're any good at. I wouldn't expect the little darlings to have thought out opinions about anything other than tire choices. I'm thinking of two in particular who have basically done nothing but drive since they were 12. Even if we discount that this particular bunch of drivers (excepting the 3 way, way, way outliers) skew stupidly young, the mental horizon of most F1 drivers is foreshortened and they're driving towards it at 120 mph.

It also seems to discount that both Nico Hulkenberg and Mark Webber have both suggested that the race might not be a good idea.

And before anyone says, why don't they boycott it, well, shall we see what happened to Force India who didn't boycott it but did cut short their participation in free practice 2, after some of their mechanics got caught up in a riot the day before. Oh wait, we won't see anything, because the cameras mysteriously didn't show their cars. And having your cars shown is the financial life blood of an F1 team, the most expensive sport in the world to participate in. I am not going to expect any team to do anything that's going to put them out of business. And that would be before the F1 governing business sued them for breach of contract.

3) Why yes, poor unfortunate staff member at Smiths having to wear that stupid t-shirt, I will ask you about your e-book reader. I mean your shop must know so much about books, with a whole 3 of it's 8 shelving units dedicated to books. Grr. Argh! (Not the guy's fault but seriously Smiths, either sell me books or stop trying to claim authority.) Don't worry, I did nothing, I just bought my newspaper and went.

4) Mobility scooters. I am aware they are necessary, and a wonderful boon to people who need them, but could we maybe start to institute driving tests? I ask after nearly having my foot run over by some woman who was weaving along the pavement, a pavement I hasten to add a mere 1.75 scooters wide. At least when it's prams running my foot over, it's unlikely to cause a crushing injury. Given that someone in my family circle has recent had to have his foot amputated after a crushing injury, I don't believe my fears are excessive.



The Vatican vs North American Nuns - I would suggest that the Vatican needs to be careful, as, as we all know, there is nothing in this world more terrifying than determined nuns. (Your blogger went to a nun-run nursery.)

I am sad to hear of the death of Lord Ashley -

The most recent iteration of the best ever Premiership XI is still wrong, as they always are - - but looking at the distribution of the teams played for tells you everything you need to know about why Man Utd have been winning things.

Timeline pictures of the Giant Spectacle over in Liverpool - I particularly like the one of the (non-giant) little girl and the Xolo, seventh down.


redfiona99: (Default)

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