By blog on May. 9, 2010.
I’m looking again… at least this time it’s not for me!
I’ve no problem helping people, no problem at all. Helping people who aren’t particularly nice to me and are somewhat demanding about my help is another matter, though. I’ve helped out my SO’s parents before and it’s not a fun experience. I helped them get set up with a proper internet connection and a website for their travel agency business and that in itself was quite a challenge!
Their old phone system has become unreliable, so they want a new one. No problem there at all. Now, they want my help in finding a business phone system that’s right for them. Apparently they’ve gotten quite a bit more clientèle since I set their website up for them and now I’m their official go-to guy for all things tech related.
It’s actually helping to bridge the gap between my SO’s parents and I: We’ve got common ground now and I think they’re getting a better chance to know me. I’ve found them a pretty good deal and they’re happy enough with it that we’ll be going ahead with the install next week.
It’s nice to be able to help my SO’s parents, but I do look forward to not talking to them so much. Don’t get me wrong, by and large they’re nice people, but they’re not my sort of people. Not really my SO’s kind, actually, so she doesn’t spend much time around them or talk to them all that often either. It seems to work for them: there doesn’t seem to be any animosity or hurt feelings about how rarely she calls, which is nice. I hate seeing my SO upset by her parents, there’s not much I can actually do and yet I want to do something to help her.
By the way, I can’t have any contact without my mother in law without checking out the Mother in law hell website, it puts you in the frame of mind that you’re observing an event in nature when you’re in laws say something rude, rather than feeling it’s directed at you. Good to get a slightly detached perspective with them. Helps sometimes.
By blog on Jun. 15, 2009.
Oh. My. Goodness. A couple of days ago I posted about my in-laws approaching me to create their website. I said no, but I did help them with direction for what they wanted. Well this week they have called me three times, three times, about information I gave them – I wrote it down and emailed it to them – about who to see about it and what they would need.
It was a tiny checklist, itty bitty, weeny checklist of what they would need and who they would have to see about it. They needed a better net connection – and I gave them the link to a good SDSL provider – a web designer who would set up the site, the server and domain for them, and I encouraged them to go for a kilostream circuit as they have so many computer systems in their business. I really went above and beyond, I believe, with these people who so often can barely maintain civility with me.
I helped them, but I am not going to be at their beck and call for the next six months whilst they ass around trying to do something that should have taken them a month with the outline I gave them. Really, this is one of those instances where I should have just been rude and told them flat out that I wouldn’t help them.
Anyway, I need to talk of something else now, before I become really angry. Pixar have released a trailer for Toy Story 3, due out June 18th next year. I have to say, that’s kind of exciting, and here’s why. Whenever Pixar release anything, I pay heed. I pay heed because numerous times I have heard the theme of one of their films, skipped it at the cinema, only to watch it six months later at home, thought it was fantastic, and kicked myself repeatedly for not going to see it on the big screen. This happened with Cars, Ratatouille, and WALL-E. I think Cars was good, Ratatouille was fantastic, and WALL-E was brilliant. I am eagerly awaiting the chance to see their newest one, Up, which I think has a fabulous story line! :yes:
So I will include the Toy Story 3 trailer here, and pay heed!
By blog on Jun. 12, 2009.
I mentioned in a previous entry that my in-laws visited earlier this week. I pretty much stay in my study for the duration of their visits. It’s not as if I don’t like my SO’s parents, her dad is a nice fellow, if completely different from me, but her mother doesn’t exactly like me very much. My mother in-law just sort of, pleasantly gets along with me, unless I do or say anything that she doesn’t like, and then she stops trying altogether. Now, I really don’t stand for that sort of crap in my house, so rather than have a blow out, which results in my SO not talking to her mother for weeks or months on end, I keep to my self, in my own space, until they are gone.
However, this visit was a little different. Apparently, they want to take their business online. They run a little travel agency, and have done so for the past 20 years, and now they want a high quality website that prospective clients can use to find out all the intro information, and even run searches for holiday packages and the costs associated. Guess who they want help them out with all of that? That’s right, me.
I was more than a little shocked, to say the least. Though, it soon occurred to me that they only want me to do it because they think I will give them a cheaper rate, but seriously, I don’t feel like taking on a project like that right now. It’s not that it would be terribly difficult, but I already have other projects on the go, and I really don’t feel like working with my in-laws, especially when they don’t want to pay my going rate anyway.
So instead I outlined for them what they will need. They told me they have been looking at different websites, trying to get a handle on what they will need from their end, and it is good to see they are taking some interest. They have a broadband connection, which is a good start, but in reality, they know very little. So I set them up to read broadband news from now on, to gain an understanding of this aspect of the internet a little more solidly. Obviously a better net connection will be needed if they are going to be uploading and hosting all of that, so I set them up to look into the best SDSL internet connection for them. I checked out what domain names they could get, and there were actually a few that would work for them. I also showed them a few good server sites, so they don’t end up with advertising all over their site, and then gave them the number of a few web designers who could set up the site well for them.
Then I merrily bid them goodbye, knowing all along how much it must have sucked for my mother in-law to have to ask for my help. That’s a satisfying thought, now isn’t it?
By blog on Jun. 12, 2009.
For the last little while, I have been thinking about that old adage of having your money working for you. I usually just put my money in the bank, and enjoy watching the interest take it up. But that hasn’t been happening as much of late, and now I am less happy to leave it sitting there. You see, with all that kerfuffle that was the economy taking a nose dive, things like interest rates on savings accounts also took a nose dive… so now I don’t get that happy feeling at seeing the bank pay me just for having an account with them… the interest on my savings is a pittance compared to what it was two years ago, and that’s including all the extra I have put in there since then.
As I was filling in time the other day – spending as much time on my computer in my study, trying to avoid my in-laws when they visited earlier this week – I ran across this site with overseas property guides… I hadn’t really ever thought about buying property in anywhere other than the good ol’ UK… but this actually caught my eye.
With a little more research, I found this go-between company that helps with overseas investment properties. Of course this is something that would involve much deliberation, and my SO and I would have to agree on which county to buy a property in, and what to do with it most of the time. See, my thinking is, if I bought a lovely property in a warm, sunny, far away land, like Australia for instance, then I would want to visit it regularly, so if we were to rent it, it would have to be short term leases so that I knew I could use my house when I was on vacation. But seriously, could you imagine lying on the beach, in the hot sun, on Christmas day? I think that sounds fantastic! And there is the huge bonus that then we wouldn’t have any pressure to spend Holidays with family, because we would be on the other side of the planet.
So I really haven’t decided yet, but I will continue to think about it, and probably post about it here, too.
By blog on Jun. 6, 2009.
Yesterday my in-laws popped in. I don’t mind my in-laws, but I hate the pop in! They actually did the not-quite-a-pop-in because they called a few hours before turning up – as it is about an hours drive for them to get to us – and told us that they were coming over, and they didn’t take no for an answer.
So they popped in, and after a couple of hours, time started to seriously drag. My SO suggested that we show them some stand up comedy, ah, what a great way to pass some time! A while back, when checking out the Comedy Central website, I noticed that they have a top 5 list of comics. One Jim Gaffigan was at the top of that list, so over to YouTube I went to check out his comedy, and he was hilarious. What better to show the in-laws than some very original, almost entirely G-rated comedy?
So we piled in to my study to watch Jim’s stuff on YouTube; luckily I have a large computer monitor! I loaded up the whole Beyond the Pale show, all seven videos. We started watching, my SO and I laughing even though we have seen these videos at least twice before. To begin with, my in-laws didn’t laugh. They didn’t even crack smiles! We sat, I felt a little awkward, but my SO and I were patient, because we knew that this was good comedy; we knew they would crack eventually.
And crack they did! About half way into the third video, they were laughing out loud. Once Jim was going into his acclaimed ‘Hotpockets’ piece, they were chortling away quite merrily. Huzah! I knew it would work! I passed away about an hour of in-laws time by watching stand-up on YouTube. Thank you, YouTube, and thank you Jim!