The daily struggles of a non-technophile

I’m trying it hard to find a suitable word to describe myself these days. In the past I have considered myself a luddite, or techno-phobe, but in fact I have realised I embrace quite a lot of technology and systems, and therefore am quite willing to engage with lots of new things, (and have accidentally developed 8 or 9 e-learning courses and learning platforms) however I wouldn’t say that I love technology, and I’m often quite overwhelmed and intimidated by complex technology.

So I don’t know what word best describes me – feel free to suggest some new words I could try out!

This brings me to my latest problems….

Last year when my boiler died, I bought a Nest, which is a smart thermostat type of device. In theory, they will “learn” your habits, predict your heating needs, and save you money and energy, saving the planet and reducing your bills, etcetera.

Except after nearly a year of using it, I am forced to concede that this is utter bullshit.

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The Philippines in shorthand…

As I have struggled to write coherent blog posts in any semblance of order, and so much is happening it’s all starting to sound a bit disjointed and confusing. Have just looked back through some facebook posts and realised it’s easier to be funny in short random posts.

So, here is a taster of my first few weeks in the Philippines, as seen through my facebook status updates:

20th November:

Another long, hectic, but fascinating day… Off to bed now, but getting up again in 4 1/2 hours to go to a distribution… My current checklist of things not to forget at 3.30am includes “Big truck, little truck, van full of cardboard boxes…”   🙂

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Technological mystery solved!

So, yesterday at work, a colleague of mine basically blew my mind. He also solved a little mystery that has been puzzling me for quite some time.

As all you avid readers and fans of my blog will know, I’ve had quite the rocky relationship with technology (and for those of you who don’t know, click on the “Technology” tag in the tag cloud on the right to read about the South Korean toilet incident, the library incident, the ceiling fan that tried to kill me, the clocks, the digital blood pressure machines, and the many many computer incidents…)

In other words, I kill technology. To date, I have: crashed countless computers (including 3 separate incidents where I crashed an entire room full of networked computers), killed a brand new electric lawnmower, a microwave, a large number of clocks, not to mention the toilet and fan incidents…. Continue reading

Do you believe in Dinosaurs?

Thursday 16th February 2012

Well, well, well, it’s been MONTHS since my last update!
You poor people! You must have been positively gasping for a nice long, chatty update on Maya’s life….
No?
Well, tough, cos that’s what you’re getting.

So, what’s new in the world of Maya?

Well, I’ve now been happily installed in my lovely house for over 6 months, and it’s starting to feel all comfortable and homey. I have made the obligatory sacrifice to the carpet gods and spilled the ceremonial red wine, so it is now offcially mine!
I have painted and decorated on a couple of walls, just because I can, and thanks to some expert advice from my mother have been able to populate my garden with some hibernating plants that will hopefully pop up and be lovely in spring and summer…. Continue reading

The accidental web-designer…

Wednesday 22nd June 2011

Hello again everyone!
Well, it’s been so long since I last wrote that I thought I had better get on with it and tell you all how my life is going!
Let’s see, so much to tell you!

Ok, well, most of you know I have recently hit a big milestone and turned 30. I saw many of you at my birthday party, which was great fun, and I saw tons of old friends and got showered with loads of fantastic presents too! For those of you who are interested, I have already developed fairly severe memory loss and crow’s feet, and I believe that my standard-issue hunchback is coming along nicely. I’m looking forward to receiving my free zimmerframe on the NHS, so I look forward to zimming around with all the other middle-aged 30-somethings soon. Continue reading

Movin’ on up…

Thursday 10th March 2011

Hello again!
Well, it’s been a while, so you must be due another little ramble from moi. I’m afraid I started writing this email about 3 weeks ago and have been adding to it ever since, so aside from being a bit long, my apologies if my train of thought appears a tad scattered!

Let’s start with the hot topic of the week here at XXX – Happy International Women’s Day! This week (Tuesday 8th March – also pancake day) was the 100th anniversary of international women’s day, and so we have had lots of great presentations and discussion groups going all week at work. Here are some interesting facts for you to digest – Did you know that 50% of the world’s food is grown by women, yet they only receive 10% of the world’s income and own 1% of the world’s property and land? Continue reading

Unwelcome advice…

Monday 27th July 2009

Hello again!

Well, not so much to report this time around. The dissertation deadline looms, and myself and most of my friends have been locked in our rooms chained to our laptops. I have personally reached a stage where I’m so sick of reading and re-reading paragraphs over and over that I basically can’t bear to work on it at all at the moment!

However, what amusing anecdotes can I regale for your amusement this time?

Well, last week I accidentally set my kitchen on fire, but I maintain that that was not my fault at all, except in a technical way.
I was cooking bangers and mash for a few of my classmates (a lot of them are international students who have never tried such a classic british meal!), as we’ve been getting together once a week to discuss our issues, problems and general dissertation-related nightmares. Continue reading

The bells, the bells!

Sunday 12th July 2009

Hello again everyone,
Just a quick update to let you all know how I’m doing.

I’m now back in Liverpool, attempting to write up my beasty dissertation and hunt for jobs at the same time!

It’s starting out pretty slowly, but I’m hoping I can get into the flow pretty soon. I’ve been going to the University library from 9 to 5, as they have these little private study rooms you can use which are really quiet. So, it’s like having my own office to go to really. The only problem is, they’re so quiet that the other day, I didn’t hear the announcement that the library was closing. I carried on working and when I looked at my watch and realised it was ten past six, I packed up and hurried downstairs, expecting to see an irate member of the library staff ready to give me a telling-off.

Instead, as I came down the stairs, something started beeping over and over again, and it dawned on me that the place looked awfully deserted. I stood in the massive entrance area, yelling “Hello? Is anyone there?” before realising I was all alone, and clearly locked inside the giant library (hence the beeping of the alarm!).
I knew I’d set off the alarms, but didn’t really know what else to do, so I just went out the turnstiles as normal and went out the emergency exit door. Continue reading

Revenge of the Machines…

Thursday 18th June 2009

So, as I believe I have mentioned several times in the past, I am a bit of a technophobe. I have a weird natural magnetism that seems to destroy anything electrical I touch or sometimes even just sit near.
I have so far killed several computers, often whole rooms of them at a time, numerous clocks and watches, my mum’s new electric mower, two microwaves, a handful of smaller electrical items such as phones, digital cameras, ipods, and many other items of technology.

And now, finally, the machines are striking back, with lethal force.

Allow me to tell you what happened to me last Saturday. I had a very scary near-death experience , and if I had in fact died, it would have been the most random and bizarre death EVER. Continue reading

Whatever happened to romance?

Tuesday 7th April 2009

Hello again everyone,
The last couple of weeks have been really busy as usual, but also really quite surreal too!

(Before I get started I should attach a small health warning to this email. There will be some strong language, sexual references and absolute proof that men are evil nasty arseholes. My apologies about the foul language – there’s plenty more to come, so anyone likely to be offended may want to stop reading! I have edited my list of recipients so hopefully anyone likely to be really offended will get sent an alternative, less-offensive version of this email!)

First things first, (I’ll start off with the unoffensive bits!) 2009 is a very interesting year, as I’ve just discovered. I watched a documentary the other day about the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which I think is the largest oil spill North America has ever seen, although I don’t know if it was the biggest in the world. This year is the 20th anniversary, and just last year the people of Valdez finally got their settlement from Exxon – £12,000 per person after 20 years of fighting, and they’re still living with the aftermath. Continue reading