Apr 29 2020

Et tu, Brute? (2)

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:10

If you’ve read this entry here, you know that now my robot vacuum cleaner is named Brute.

And I could probably get a job as medium because about one month ago I got to look at it disappointed and say “Et tu, Brute?”.

What happened to Brute? Brute was alive and well, meaning – it would charge just fine. But it refused to communicate with the iPad and to do its job. So yeah, out of the blue, it decided to disconnect from WiFi and refuse manual commands too. So, I had to call the Neato support again and half an hour later I was packing it and sending it to Glasgow.

One month, yesterday it was back. I unpacked it and tried to convince it to talk to my iPad again. No chance. Tried to install its app on the phone, nothing. Being desperate with all the dust and cat hair in my house, I started it manually and went out for a run. 40 minutes later I receive a notification on my phone from Brute, telling me that it finished cleaning and there is a map in the application for me if I’m interested.

I was puzzled, because the damn thing did not want to connect when I left my house, and now is sending me messages? So I hurry home, and try again to connect the bastard to the iPad and this time it works.

So now, Brute is back, my house is clean and I did not have to choose a name for my next robot. Because, I already had a name in mind. Since nobody betrayed Brute, I would have named it as a person that betrayed me, my ex from a long, long time ago. :D

That would have perplexed some of my friends that did not know the full story. :)

These days I’m pretty busy working on a personal project, so there won’t be any blog entries for about two weeks. Unless I get really panic and avoid the work by writing on my blog.

Also, if you get a Neato Vacuum Robot, avoid the D7 model, get any of the other ones. This one is really sensitive and breaks down for no reason.

Stay safe, stay happy and stay inside!


Apr 28 2020

Worst kind of dystopia

Category: MusicIuliana @ 12:48

I haven’t thought about you in a while, but I woke up this morning with your face fresh in your mind because I just had the weirdest dream.

—–

We were living in a dystopian world where talent for art was really rare and artists were owned like cattle and used to entertain the masses. They were owned by powerful people and they were just transported from place to place to entertain.

You are the greatest guitarist of this century and lately you have become quite a good lyricist too. In my dream you were a prized possession. You had a monitoring chip under your skin and some vile politician decided where and when you would perform.

After an event all artists were allowed to spend the rest of the night as they wanted to, then they were loaded in their touring trucks and transported to the next location.

Somehow we knew each other. You had such sad look in your eyes, but you smiled when you saw me waiting for you after the event. We drove over to my house and we had dinner and we talked about how hard was to write lyrics that hid your desire for freedom and how your fingers hurt sometimes from playing your guitar, but you still had to do it otherwise you lost your “after-event-freedom” privilege.

Although I loved your voice and loved to hear you sing, I understood your need for silence and your need to be anything else but an artist when you were with me. I hated that you were not a normal person, without this talent that made you a … slave. But I also wondered if I would love you if you were as plain and boring as I was. I fell asleep in your arms. I woke up in the morning and drove you back to that horrid truck. A security guy scanned your chip and welcomed you back in. I watched you go and felt my heart hurt in my chest, because I did not know when I would see you and hear you again. Yeah, I so wished for you to have been born normal, even if that would  mean that we would have never met or known each other.

In this world recording artists for distribution was a crime nobody dared to commit. So when you left, it felt as if there was no more music in the world for me.

—–

I woke up so grateful that I do not live in that kind of world. There is a lot of room for improvement for this one for sure, but we’ll get there in due time. Now I’ll just go and listen some John Mayer for a while and be grateful that this world is not so bad after all. Because how can this world be so bad when music is a resource easily accessible? I can’t even imagine a world where access to music would be as restricted as it was in my dream.

Enjoy some John Mayer with me.

Stay safe, stay happy and stay inside!


Apr 10 2020

Back to normal

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 18:24

I’ve found myself talking to friends and sometimes me, sometimes them, we make references to “the time after this passes, when all comes back to normal”.

And it hit me today while cooking… I do not want things to go back to normal. I want us to learn from this and move forward to a better version of how things used to be. I want the new normal to be better than the one before all this happened.

I want people to ask for politicians that were not able to handle this crisis to renounce the politician job and never be allowed to do it again. An idiot like Trump that tried to get rich from people dying should be fucking sent to jail after this crisis. I don’t care he’s 75, he can die in prison for all I care.
Continue reading “Back to normal”


Apr 04 2020

Hope is the last one to die

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 14:46

The title is a rough translation of a Romanian idiom, and it represents the country I was born in more than I’d like and it is heart breaking.

Although one of the countries with the best internet in the world, one of the country producing the best doctors and software developers, Romania is still viewed as a third word country by most. In my opinion, a lot of things are better now, and being third is not such a bad thing, because to my knowledge there are a few other levels that are a little worse.

Nevertheless there are two things in Romania that from my point of view make it a third world country in the worst way: the education system and the health system.

You might be inclined to say that the education system produces all those good doctors and software developers that the rest of the world knows about, how does that make sense? Well, excelling at something against the system is not the same as thriving because of it.

Continue reading “Hope is the last one to die”

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Apr 03 2020

More quarantine thoughts

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 2:21

I was born in a poor family, a normal traditional Romanian family, where the father was the bread winner and my mother was the home carer. Well, my mother kept the home but she probably hated most of it. That is why as soon as I was able to, she started to share the work with me. Which is ok, this is how children learn to be adults and she did make it fun here and there. Also she always joked that since I am a girl she is teaching me everything so I will be a good wife. And I was a kid and I guess I wanted to be a good wife, since I assumed that was in my future. If I was gonna be a wife, might as well be a good one, right?

It is said that if you want to make god laugh, just make plans. But there is no god, and plans are subject to chance.

I always thought I would meet somebody, settle down, have a kid maybe two. I just thought that was how everybody lived their lives.

Continue reading “More quarantine thoughts”


Mar 31 2020

The 18th day of quarantine

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 22:10

The end of March is here, and of course it is time for the monthly beer, offered this month by Juan as well.(Thank you Juan!)

He donated the money and although there is a beer picture in this image, I’d like to think that the money from him are included in the 20 GBP I donated to NHS.

And since I have a beer and some blogging time let’s see what how my life has been in quarantine.
Continue reading “The 18th day of quarantine”


Mar 27 2020

Brave New World: The Year of the Covid-19

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 21:59

A few weeks ago our life was still somewhat normal and the Wuhan tragedy was thousands of miles away. It was a distant world hit by a tragedy and it was just a story for us, one of those things that we were mildly curious and sad about. I was reading the news while preparing to fly to Romania for three weeks and I could not imagine I will not be able to do it.

But now it has become our reality and in a desperate try to slow the spread and protect our most vulnerable members of our society we have isolated ourselves in our houses and we are risking our mental health in doing so. And that is what this entry is about, mostly, how to manage your own mind and keep from going crazy while locked in your home and worried about a billion things.

Start by making a list of friends and family members and video call at least one of them daily. If you are not going crazy because you are a loner and used to being by yourself, most people are not. And they might be crazy with worry themselves and not even know how to deal with it. So be a decent human being and be there for people that do not even know they need you.

Be especially careful with your children. When humans develop they need routine, routine means security. Having a fixed routine helps them feel somewhat in control of their life, while learning to live in our society and helps them become confident. This pandemic has disrupted their routine so it is up to you, the parent, to enforce a new one. The initial disruption in routine will make them do crazy things. On the inside they are probably scared, they know something bad is happening, they might even feel your anxiety about this new situation and they will react to it in ways that will surprise you. This is the time to have that serious chat about feelings with your children. It is time to tell them that it is ok to be sad, it is ok to be angry and restless, but lashing out and breaking things will not help and it will not change things. It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to get a pillow and kick it until your knuckles bleed, but hurting the ones closer to you is not ok. Also, keep reminding them them that is not forever and help them cope by helping them to keep in contact with friends and relatives as well. Keep them busy, but also allow them to be alone from time to time. If it looks like they are out of control just punish them by sending them to their room for 30 minutes. Maybe they will box that pillow, maybe they will cry, but they will have time to think and hopefully they will get out of the room when they feel like it and maybe realize the craziness of their behaviour. Of course this works with kids that are over four years old, for smaller ones … you are doomed. But hopefully you are a good parent and you made it this far, so trust yourself that you will make it without scarring your children for life. (How do I know so much about kids? Simple, I never really grew up. :D)

Keep busy. Obviously if you have kids, that part is settled. :D Take advantage of this period being locked inside your home to get to know yourself. Although the TV, and/or Netflix, or Amazon Prime, etc offer a lot of distractions, they also offer a lot of noise. This noise keeps you from thinking and acknowledging the situation you are in. You are locked between four walls. And you probably are in fear for your job and salary. Think very well what you want to do about this. If the company asks to accept reduced pay, you might want to take it. If you are happy with the company you work for, you want to help keep it alive, so you will have a job after this disaster has passed. If you know that the company you work for is danger of shutting down, you have to think fast. Do you have savings? How long will you be able to go on living almost normally until they end? Could you get another job? What else are you good at that you could make money of? If you have garden, it is time to become an expert gardener. Being able to grow your own food is an invaluable skill.

And acknowledge the novelty of this situation. There will be people who will have it worse then you. Help those who you know are worth it and buy a baseball bat to defend yourself from those who will not ask for help in a … friendly way. It’s scary, but you can only start solving a problem once you acknowledge it. So let’s acknowledge the fact that we really, really do not know how long this will go on. Most governments never expected for our civilized society to deal with a pandemic of such magnitude, and they will not always make the best decisions. They will not be able to save, protect and help all of us. So let’s acknowledge that if we do not help ourselves, it is quite possible nobody will. We are all in this together and we will deal with it in different ways. And unfortunately when survival is at stake, being a decent human being is no longer a priority for most people. So acknowledge that too and decide what you are willing to do if worse comes to worst.

I do not want to scare you more then you already are. But most of us have been sleeping comfortably on the pillow of civility, in our decent communities for so long we forgot that for some people laws are just guidelines. Most societies remain civilized not because their member are unable of doing uncivilized things, but because they choose not to. In an uncertain situation, when resources are limited being civilized is no longer a priority.

I really hope for a miracle, and I hope in three months we will have a vaccine or the virus will just mutate into an innovensive form. And I really hope we as a society will become better because of it. But … hope is just a thought. And thoughts are just thoughts. Only actions shape reality.

Stay safe, stay healty and stay sane!