Gateway to Amy

Geeky computer stuff February 3, 2009

Filed under: Geeky technology,Rants — amyrunner @ 12:12 am

Hello! Thought it was about time for another blog.  This time I thought I’d write a bit about the new and older programmes I have been using lately.  These include Facebook, Twitter, Dopplr, and Last.fm to name a few.  All these seem to have pro’s and cons and I would like to share my opinions from the perspective of someone who is fairly new to all this geeky business and a bit skeptical of it’s value!

Anyway, let start with good old Facebook.  I along with many people am a member of this ‘social’ network. However I have come to question its true value as a social tool.  Weirdly had it not been for Facebook I probably wouldn’t have ended up going out with my most recent ex boyfriend, however I’m sure it also contributed in some part to our parting.  Trust issues were not helped by the ‘big brother’ nature of this networking tool.  Also having lots of interlinked friends at university meant that sometimes it was easier to have a look at a wall to wall conversation rather than ask a person how they are having already gathered the answer…thus reducing social interaction.  I have toyed with the idea of deleting it altogether but there is something that keeps me hanging on.  I think it is the voyeur in me that likes looking at drunken pictures and seeing what is going on in other people’s lives and the nagging feeling that if I didn’t have Facebook  I would become a social outcast. This lent I will probably give it up like last year and maybe after 40 days and 40 nights I might go all the way.

Next up… Twitter! It took me a while to get into it but now I am quite enjoying it and have even met up with a couple of people from it! It’s been great for finding fellow runners and has really helped with the motivation.  Also following people like Lance Armstrong and other top cyclists is quite cool and it’s interesting to hear about their racing and Tour preparation.  The downside is it can be quite addictive and time consuming! Since becoming single the tweeting has drastically increased, more than doubling, which is somewhat sad but oh well, I have encountered loads of interesting people so got to be a good thing! I also now have Tweetdeck so I can keep track of all the interesting people I follow. Argh, I must stop transforming into a geek!

Now to Dopplr. It’s great being able to track all my trips as can look back on it in future.  I love the little features on your profile which tracks your speed and map your trips too.  I am currently the speed of a giant tortoise, slow and steady wins the race and all that! Planning some BIG trips in the future though, might even be as quick as a duck soon 😀 You can add friends on there and share trips and tips about places you have visited, making it social and informative.

Finally Last.fm this is something I have signed up to recently and it’s a great way of listening to music as you can put in a bands name and it brings up lots of their songs. Also there is an option to listen to a bands ‘radio’ which is music by that band and of other bands which are of the same genre.  It’s a great way of exploring music and discovering bands you may not have listened to before. It is social as you can add friends on their and view their favourite and recently listened to music.  However I will soon be giving Spotify a go to see what all the hype is about and whether it can compete with Last.fm!

Anyway, many of you probably know this information but thought I’d give my take on the basics! Will be exploring the depths of what the internet has to offer in due course! Overall I think technology is a good thing but it has a tendency to take over if left unchecked. I’m happy with what I’m using at the moment, think much more and there definitely wouldn’t be enough hours in the day! Still unsure about FB but have just created a running society group on there so it does have it’s uses for marketing groups and events, which I like and hence I stick with it! Right, thats enough rambling for one post! Next one will definitely be about running…

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The hospital from HELL! May 26, 2008

Filed under: Rants — amyrunner @ 5:38 pm

Carrying on from my post about the broken arm I would like to publish my thoughts on the hospital I was taken to post accident, don don don…Leicester Royal Infirmary!

Firstly I have already ranted quite a bit about this hospital, especially to Luke and he found a site where you can actually rate the hospital and make comments on it, so he spent a good 15 minutes documenting my rant then submitting it only to be informed that negative comments were not allowed and a link they sent to the NHS complaints page was dead! What happened to free speech? It’s not allowed anymore apparently!

Anyway, lets hope this version isn’t pulled! It started with ward 17… I arrived at around 5.30am in a bit of a state to be told that Luke couldn’t stay with me and he had to go and sleep in a 24hr drinks area on some chairs, it began well! I was soon to realise that they had put me in the ‘loony ward’ probably due to the fact that no-one else wanted to be in there! There was the rudest, most inconsiderate 18 year old called Rochelle who has tried to commit suicide by jumping off a building and sadly failed. Her legs were a mess, and she seemed to think that she was the only person in pain or needing help on the ward. Even after one day of being on there I was ready to join the queue of people wanting to finish her off! The nurses had had enough of her and consequently ignored most of her shouts for attention. The most ridiculous thing I heard from her was when she had lost her Piglet soft toy. This was obviously a tragedy for her and when she said she couldn’t sleep without it I nearly cried as hadn’t slept properly for days due to her whining and shouting. She went on and on about the toy and I had to leave the ward and retreat to the day room to get away from her incessant cries of “Piglet where are you, Piglet come back to me…” oh dear God!

Anyway, other than the suicidal teen from hell there was also a 97 year old senile women whose cries of “Please help me…” also grated after a while, she had a neck brace which she didn’t like and couldn’t take off so would ask for help and again the nurses would ignore her most of the time. This was ok until she actually did want something else, and on one notable occasion she obviously wanted the toilet and had been waiting ages, when a nurse finally came over and sat her on a commode to take her the poor old woman just started going while she was being pushed through the ward! It couldn’t have been pleasant for her and certainly not for those witnessing it, i.e. me!

Ward 17 also brought traumatic events such as hearing someone shit themselves in the middle of the night, and someone being sick which was stomach turning. My sister Laura’s comments of ‘I think you are coping well as you can’t normally stand those sort of things’ was well received, at least someone felt my pain!

Other than the loony brigade I generally felt neglected and depressed in the hospital. There were not enough nurses in the ward to cope with everyones needs and they seemed overworked and made mistakes. On the day of my operation I was moved at 6am to the mens ward, disturbing my sleep again and stressing me out some more! I found out that day that the guy next to me had come into the hospital for a knee replacement which should have meant a 4 day stay, 5 months later he was still there with an infection in his knee and found out that day that he had MRSA and was moved to isolation!

After the op at 11pm I was moved to another bay of the ward with women again, when I was trying to get to sleep and was woken from 4am to have antibiotics pumped into me and then later for a blood pressure test. Then I had to have more painkillers as they had woken me so all in all I was a mess. The stay ended with a 5 hour wait for them to discharge me from 10am to 3pm with my dad. Such a stressful day as they lost my drugs chart and I couldn’t have pain killers for hours and they had taken my Morphine away by then so I was crying with pain and stress. I have never been so relieved to leave somewhere and can honestly say that was the worst 6 days of my life.

All this with 2 days “day release” from the prison to return to Loughborough, I don’t know how I would have survived without that. The annoying thing is that physically I didn’t need to stay in the hospital overnight before my operation but due to lack of beds they couldn’t guarantee me a bed for the op so I had no choice about staying.

Hmm, think that may be enough ranting for one day, there are probably other things I could mention but don’t want to dwell on the negatives for too long. A great quote from Luke about the Leicester trip: “if something happens to you again Amy tell them to take you to Nottingham…”. Definitely one to bear in mind!

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