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Take That China!
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Thursday, February 28

It's a fact of life. People try to find themselves on the internet, both metaphorically and literally. I've received emails, recently, from people who can only have found the site through searching on Google (or wherever) for their full name. In some cases, I've had confirmation of this.

I say that self-searching is definitely worth a try - see what Mr Internet thinks he knows about you, it's bound to be an eye opener. The backlash section is written with this sort of search in mind. I'd love some of the people, who have given me terrible service, to find out what I say about them outside of the formal complaint structure they build around themselves. It is for this reason that I often give full name and contact details for the muppets I complain about . Take today's example - I'm complaining about an IT reseller that I've decided not to use - he needs to repeat the following mantra: "Illiterate emails, cost me sales". Perhaps he will discover this if he ever finds himself here.

In some cases, full names are simply published because they came to mind when I was writing. I worry about unintentionally causing embarrassment, which is why I'll try to be sensitive if anyone complains that something about them, in one of the fun sections of this site, is causing offence.

Wednesday, February 27

Dirty Fat Ladies? Apparently that is one of the search strings that will give good hits on this site... or something like that. Perhaps it's one of the search strings which people frequently use on my site. Actually, I've no idea what it means, but it's definitely identified as having something to do with this site. I love web statistic tools!

Ok, a slightly weird update today. I'll point you in the direction of this article, but don't blame me if it confuses you.

On a more positive note, it's a year since I published one of my favourite backlash letters. This is the one where I explained to a credit card company how they had created an Achilles Paradox with their billing policy. It went down... badly.

Ok, a slightly weird update today. I'll point you in the direction of this article, but don't blame me if it confuses you.

On a more positive note, it's a year since I published one of my favourite backlash letters. This is the one where I explained to a credit card company how they had created an Achilles Paradox with their billing policy. It went down... badly.

Tuesday, February 26

Who thought apostrophell had died? I had... so I wrote an update today. It's about a little shop in Newcastle.

People can be very touchy. I think I should probably stop sending emails - they're so easy to misread. Maybe I'll declare Wednesday a "no mail server" day - everyone can try talking to each other for a change.

Sunday, February 24

It has been a good day.

Life can be difficult at times. Things can attempt to get in the way of one's enjoyment. However, you have to be brave, put the past behind you, and look forward to a bright future, with the ones you love around you, and the ones you don't at a suitable distance.

I've never claimed to be perfect. Indeed, I've made some pretty big mistakes in my life. However, I've been the victim of real injustices too many times. I have an eager-to-please nature which is often abused. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, though: I'm not here to be bullied and I will definitely be standing up for myself in the future.

Plus, I've finally discovered a new description for learning to throw a boomerang. It's called playing fetch... with yourself.

Crikey... I'm listed here as a reader of Are You Dave Gorman. Those crazy chaps on the Have You Read Dave Gorman web site have hit their 1000 point target - they're currently at 1002 points and I'm 4 of them... woohoo!

Let's welcome Mal Ross as a contributor to the backlash section. He's feeling deflated at the moment. I myself might have been harsher, but he's a fair man and I support him 100%.

I'm feeling a little like pondering at the moment, and appear to have completely dissected an overheard conversation in WHS today - I felt it spoke volumes about the age we live in.

Friday, February 22

A little content for you today. A couple of book reviews. I read Are You Dave Gorman a while ago and have just finished Round Ireland with a Fridge. Both are good books - check out my reviews.

It's not my birthday yet and I've already received one unwelcome birthday wish (no, not you Mal - yours was unsolicited, but not unappreciated). My birthday is not something I see as an opportunity for others to fulfil their selfish ends. The unwanted card was binned unread, anything else will be treated with equal or worse disdain.

Thursday, February 21

Couple of musical thoughts:

You can tell a good musician if they are instantly recognisable. I heard the theme tune to "Fun at the Funeral Parlour" Tuesday, and knew that the guitar version of Chopin's Funeral March had to be from the fingers of one Bryan May. 30 minutes later, when the credits rolled, I was right. It's a tribute to Mr May, rather than myself.

My trips to and from work, on Tuedsay, were accompanied by Elvis. Most importantly, I heard a live version of "are you lonesome tonight" which I'd not heard in a while. Smashing! He changes the lyrics from "Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there" to "Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair"... then he wets himself laughing for the rest of the song. The backing singer carries on regardless - singing a counter melody. Her grim determination not to laugh, cracks Elvis up further "sing it baby" he giggles... very infectious.

Wednesday, February 20

So, the Wooburn Grange Country Club is no more... that's the location used as the outside of Fawlty Towers. It's been gone for a long time, but I still felt a fresh pang of grief, finding out about it only the other day.

Monday, February 18

This is not a rival to the Haikulator.

Three sites to recommend. The official Dave Gorman site, and two bizarre fan sites. One, The Dave Gorman Book Quest appears to be about a chap who's buying lots of copies, and the other - Have you read Dave Gorman? is about a chap who wants to meet people who have read the book...

The guy who wrote this is not a lawyer. However, recent evidence about law students suggests that he probably had a better grasp of our language than most of them...

Bad form, though it is, to steal from the blog of a site that is not yours, I was made to like this site's game, with words of one sound each, which I first saw shown on the land of frown.

Yes it is quite a game. A task for the quick of brain. But, can you make rhymes from the words of one sound each? A song formed this way would be good to hear!

Thursday, February 14

Happy Birthday Ol! I've no idea what your mobile number is, so my text message failed to reach you!

Weird web caching thing happening folks...

Tuesday, February 12

Well, I was in a foul mood last night... wasn't I?

Hell, let's argue about Pop Idol via websites...

The reasons that Will is no Pop Idol:
  • He has an annoying voice

  • His stage manner is limp - admittedly Gareth's no hunk, but he's pretty boy limp, rather than dishcloth
  • Will does not fit the Pop genre - he has a soulful voice, when it's not a whining one, and it did not fit either of the Pop Idol tracks he sang

And the reasons that Gareth earned my respect:
  • Anyone who can sing Unchained Melody and Yesterday, and make them sound half-decent, is due respect; these are songs that cannot be done well

  • Anyone who can sit at a piano and knock out a self-accompanied performance (as he did with the shameful assistance of Mr Will Young) is worthy of respect

  • His voice and face fit the image - he is a Pop Idol... simple as that!

  • ... the stammer is irrelevant!

So don't come giving me any of that Will Young shit!

A teenie bopper
From Tunbridge Wells!

What do I have written on my forehead? Idiot? Doormat? Fool? Poor old Ashley?

Clearly there are some people out there who do not have enough respect for me.

Paranoid? Perhaps not... it's not paranoia if they're really out to get you.

Yours sincerely,
Fucked off from Tunbridge Wells!!

Monday, February 11

Calling the Pop Idol result a fix... well, perhaps that was unfair. But maybe it is not truly representative of the public's opinion or the deserved outcome.

Quote from the BBC article on the result:

A BT spokesperson said the volume of calls had threatened the national network, and the company was forced to limit the number of calls that got through.

So, since this was a battle between North and South, and since the vote was partly rigged by the bookies favourites and pre-vote hype suggesting that the result would be the opposite... is it possible that the limitation on voting influenced the result? Is it possible that the southerners were more able to vote than the northerners?

I wonder whether the entire show has not be dogged by BT's inability to switch the calls they are receiving to their final destination... it's interesting how the geographically supported people have been quick to go - Hayley from Brummie-land, Aaron from Geordie-land... perhaps this is all BT's fault?

Someone's screwed up somewhere. Surely they should have predicted demand and either set up local call centres, or had the program makers give more time for voting...

We'll probably never know!

Saturday, February 9

Oh yeah, and nice review from Matt at Frownland!

Absolutely amazed at the Pop Idol result. From the performances, the clear winner was Gareth. The vote disagreed.

I spent all night trying to vote and could not get through - lines busy, line engaged, service not available, dead line... even the dial tone. Hell, I wore out my redial button. For what? For an 8.7Million vote poll to miss me out.

One wonders about whether Pop Idol is fixed. Theoretically, with 28,000 lines open for 2 hours, you should be able to receive 30Million votes. Ok, so the reality will be different, but I should have been able to vote at some point... surely? Perhaps it's not a fix - perhaps the problem is with the voting mechanism - have BT screwed up?

We'll never know.

To some extent, I'm with Darius' opinion on Pop Idol; it's a poisoned chalice - the winner will be branded as that TV show's winner. Maybe those runners up who get record deals (and I expect Darius, Gareth, Zeo and Aaron to be among them) will have better careers without the label of "ITV's Pop Idol" thrust upon them...

Time will tell.

Friday, February 8

From a backlash reader:
You may be interested to know that we found your site while looking for justification for the colour of crisp packets, and we were interested in your theories.
That's really cheered me up... I think he means this.

Monday, February 4

Let the 3rd of February be known as triple update day. We have updates in three sections!

For a new haiku, you know where to go
For a story of my weekend, it has to be backlash
For more ancient history of my holiday to Italy, then check out the incredible section.

If nothing suits you, then try reading more of the site - there's a lot here... somewhere...

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