Friday, January 21, 2005
Insomnia, Electricity and Apparitions
Unable to sleep I decided to get up and do something usefull. I figured I'd install the new electrical sockets in the dining room. The new sockets had different locations for the wires to fit into so it was a pain making them fit, one had to be screwed into place from below which is pretty fucking stupid considering they'll usually be mounted near the floor or a worktop with knack all access from below. I was further aggravated to find these sockets didn't have on/off switches on them and I couldn't replace the old ones as my folks appear to have taken the liberty of binning them for me when I removed them last month. Having fitted them with much messing around I went to replace the fuse I'd removed and found I had two fuses next to each other. Whilst I was trying to figure out which was 30 amps a strange thing happened.. some movement in the corner of my eye caught my attention, I looked up to see a naked pale white girl silently moving up the dark hallway towards me, her arms clutching her upper body and head held low towards her shoulder. I don't believe in ghosts and whatnot but this was straight out of a film. I was sunned for a second then as adrenaline started to kick in I realised it was Julie. She'd got up and come downstairs to see what I was up to, she's a very white lady (like in the Electric Six song) and was cold. I suggested next time she say "Hi" rather than scaring the crap outta me and risk getting popped. Probably a result of a few years of training and sparring I find that when something shocks me I tend to go into fight mode. It's quite funny really. One time I had a heating problem and the pipes suddenly started banging incredibly violently right in front of me, I'd dropped into a fighting stance and chambered a kick before my brain caught up and told me I'd be facing boiling water spraying out of a burst pipe if I didn't flick off the heating switch.
posted by martin 02:49
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Missionaries At My Door
I have an armchair interest in theology. I can't believe what some people will believe and think it's pretty scary what some people take seriously.. A while back i decided to get a book of mormon. Mainly because you can get it free here. I went online and requested a free copy saying "no" to the 'can we send some representatives deliver it' question at the bottom. Anyway those naughty mormons still sent round two girls to deliver it. Tsk tsk.. I'll have to ask why they bother asking on the website if they're gonna pop round anyway, I think that was a bit underhand. When they knocked I answered the door paint roller in hand and assumed the two smartly dressed girls were going to try and sell me something (well technically they are trying to sell me something really). They were very polite and smiley, especially the american one. I happily took their book wondering why it had two bookmarks in it -turns out theyed marked and underlined some 'important' bits. I think it'll be an interesting read when I can fit it in, now I'm studying it'll probably not be for a long time. Back at school in history we covered the american west which included the founding of the mormon faith. It's a rather strange story involving a bank that went tits up, the renouncing of polygamy (peer pressure?) and a hellish pilgrimage to the most inhosptitable bit of land the "chosen" could've possibly opted for.
posted by martin 13:37
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Not been posting for a while. I'm now a card carrying student. Wierd. Just had the introuctory week of informtion overload by quiet speakers in oversized rooms with bad acoustics.
posted by martin 19:32
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Friday my mind
My drop dead gorgeous girlfrend is still away :-( Last night I watched a program on "girl power" bands. I went to bed wondering about the current situation of the singer of We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It (turns out the bassist joined Babes In Toyland so I've probably seen her a while ago) and that lead guitar slinging sexpot from "Hepburn" -why did they choose a band name like that? It's so websearch unfriendly! Surprised not to catch Kenickie on it though.
Went out on the piss tonight:) We all met up in a pub in some piss ant village called Walkington, a nice place to take your mum probably. Anyway saw the crew as it currently stands, talked ADSL,property, investment, my new student status and of course sex. A mate got henpecked on that one. Strange.. his girlfriend is a mate from school days and was always a good laugh but recently she's been acting much older :( I can remember bumping into her when I was clubbing years back, but tonight I suggested we all hit the Piper sometime and she was umming and ahhing. Shame. Anyway billy and I hit Spiders picking up Cat on the way. saw usuall faces, haven't been there in ages though. Saw Wes and Laqueit in club amongst others. I'm now happily pissed and tomorrow I'll probably see my lady which is more cause for smiling. you don't notice how much you miss people till they're not around. My male cat is home, he seems to want attention and/or a fight -well he's on my lap, purring, scratching and biting me anyway.
Got a call from Laura tonight, might have another guvvy job making a website for her current firm. Cool.
**Stop The Press**
We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It are flogging their whole back catalogue on 4 CDs! When I have the cash I'll probably be hitting paypal up for that one at some point!
posted by martin 03:37
Thursday, January 06, 2005
This is my last day at work. I'm backing up all my old stuff to CD before I leave apart from that I'm not doing a whole lot.
The gullible and their computers
Here comes a rant..
I spent last night talking some pleb through trying to uninstall 13 pieces of malware the fuckwhit had unwittingly got installed. He was having problems browsing the web and told me the errors he was getting. I asked him what software he had installed recently. None, he advised, but he had run something on the internet which said it would chek his hard drive in case there was porn on it. The fucking numpty. I can't see why people still fall for these things. Why the fuck would a complete stranger scan his hard drive removing dodgy files for nothing? What fucking world do these end users live in? The two phrases "There's no such tiing as a free lunch" and "There's one born every minute" probably cover it. What I don't get is if it was in any other situation people wouldn't be so fucking gullible. If a complete stranger said "Hi person I don't know and never met before, I think there may be porn stashed in your car, I'll strip it down and check it for you, and I'll do it for nowt." He would probably have turned down the offer but bang it on a pop up window on a computer screen and people wouldn't be able to hand over their car keys fast enough.
Another frequent web advert trying to install malware and spyware is an advert offering to optimise your internet connection. Why would some stranger optimise your internet connection? How the fuck do people think that's going to work anyway? But the gullible and suffer from web blindness click ok before you know it some twelve year old kid in a former soviet state is browsing their hard drive and serving viagra adverts from their machine.
This kind of thing always happens to the same people over and over. George Santayana famously said "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." He's been dead over a hundred years but he's still on the nail. If he worked in information technology today he'd probaby have said "Those who don't remember how they fucked up their computers last week are doomed to repeat it this week". I've realised a simple solution to the problem anyway. Anyone asking me for advice about a fucked up computer gets none. Instead I'll offer to fix it for them out of the goodness of my heart on the conditions they deliver it to me, pay me an twenty quid hourly rate with a minimum of two hours, put up with whatever half assed time table I decide to work to and remember the work isn't guarranteed. I suspect people will suddenly learn to stop fucking up their machines that way, that or they'll bother someone else, or I'll get ready cash for it.
Rant over ..for now.
posted by martin 10:07
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
A couple of Karoo gripes
Idling away my penultimate day in the office reading about huge squid and other internet randomness I checked my over complicated web of bank accounts. I seemed to be significantly down on what I expected. After a quick call to the bank I fond Kingston Internet had decided to charge me annually instead of monthly for my broadband connection. After half an hour on hold (no exaggeration) I got through to them. They sorted it pretty quick and are gonna refund the whole amount back to my account account, apparently within 24 hours, then send out a completely new bill next month starting from scratch. Just another niggle to add to my list of Karoo gripes. Which reminds me. My parents village now has broadband available so my dad called KC and subscribed to Broadband 250. He got his modem. The "change over" date came and he tried to get his connection working. No joy. He gave me a buzz I ran through the usual Have you done this? Have you done that? routine before telling him he probably had a line fault and needed to call KC. He did call KC. He didn't have a line fault. His ADSL connection was fine except for one fairly important thing. It was on the wrong line. Nice one.
Fairly uneventfull evening last night. Went training, dislocated a toe (hobbling a bit now). Applied some finishing touches to a new website. Talked to Julie by phone. Had to give up as the phone was so quiet most of the converstaion consisted of "What?" "Pardon?" and "Eh?". Watched a program about Bravo Two Zero where a guy with a camera crew retraced the soldiers famed or infamous mission, talking to witnesses. It turns out the published "true stories" are largely works of fiction.
posted by martin 12:57
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Cold Caller Bureaux
Went home for lunch to find a lengthy answerphone message from someone called Helen of the official sounding "Fast Track Accident and Injury Bureaux". She wondered if I (or a family member) had been hit by a bus or a taxi and if I had could I call her on 01482 883333. Unfortunately for Helen and luckily for me I haven't (yet) so I didn't need her services to usher me into the compensation culture her kind are busy building around us.
However.. unfortunately for Helen, or whatever her name really is, my phone number is registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) so no one should be cold calling me, not unless they want a £5000 fine anyway. I decided to lodge a complaint with the TPS. In her wittering message I couldn't make out the company name properly so I gave her a buzz (with 141 in front..) she wasn't in of course but I got the company name carified by the airhead who answered. Then I asked for their postal address which she refused to give me. Strange that. I tried again and this time the office bike on the other end hung up on me when I asked for the address.
A quick google search for their phone number told me that the "Fast Track Accident and Injury Bureaux" is actually Fast Track Marketing Services Ltd and their address is: Agricultural House,Walkergate,Beverley, HU17 9EP. I guess "Agricultural" was maybe too big a word for the poor dear trying to answer a phone and read Hello at once probably occupied both brain cells. Cool. Complaint lodged. I also emailed Kingston Comms as I think it was pretty unethical of them to refuse to give out their address having called me -that and they're flouting whatever telesales law the TPS is covered by.
Anyway if you get hit by a bus or a taxi "even if it was just a scratch" give Helen a buzz.
Googling the afternoon away lead me to The Cons, Scams and Unethical Sales Techniques FAQ. Worth reading if only to check off the scams and techniques you've already seen used.
posted by martin 15:34
Monday, January 03, 2005
The New Year is here
Had no plans for new year's eve and no one else seemed to have any either so I went off to Lancaster to spend it with Julie. We did a couple of pubs and a club. Saw midnight in at the Yorkie. then headed to the dark place. At about three I decided to switch to soft drinks. We got back to her folks at about 4. I was originally only staying for one night but we were invited to someone's house for drinks and food -unfortunately it also meant 4 hours of television gazing which was a let down. We headed off and caught lat orders in a pub then got take aways. A trip to lancaster always seems to involve eating a lot of take away food for some reason. We bedded down on an airbed on the living room floor as per usual and woke when people started walking through -as per usual. We met up with a couple of Julie's mates for dinner. I was gonna head off home but decided to stay on and go out for an evening drink. Julie's brother gave us a lift there to the tune of dance music playing on the misleadingly named "Rock FM".
As time was called we went in search of an extended license which lead us to a Revolution vodka bar for cocktails, lager and of course vodka. Tried a chilli vodka that was really hot. We left at kicking out time being among the last to go, liberating a couple of shot glasses, got more take away food and taxied home. We sat up talking and Julie told me something quite amusing.. Due to my penchant for Wrigley's Extra and slim build her brother had thought I did alot of speed. Hehe.
Now I'm back, been catching up with Cat. Good news was my errant male cat returned home for a brief stint in my absence, he's gone again now though... My girlfriend is away all week at her folks.
Three days till I retire. Woohoo!
posted by martin 20:31