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Thursday, December 15

Another mammoth post I reckon


Despite advising people not to post too much in one go, I think I'll get a few things into this one. Today's subjects are:
  • Fixing my car
  • Encyclopedias
  • The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
  • Beef
  • Cutting off my broadband
What a mix. They're none of them excessively important, so ideal blog-fodder.

Fixing my car
It's amazing how one gets used to things that don't work. When I got my car it had a faulty boot. The gas struts, which make that satisfying hiss as the boot opens, and, more importantly, hold its weight and stop it from closing on your head, did not both work when I got the car. That, as well as the running problem which developed about 3000 miles into my ownership of the car, meaning that the car stuttered when I put my foot down at low revs, were causing me much heartache. The running problem was fixed at the last service - spark plugs are, apparently, quite important. The boot, however, has been falling on my head.

More specifically, I've been holding it up with one arm while loading and unloading it. Sometimes I've been balancing it on my head and shoulders while manipulating the contents of it. Overall, it's been a pain, but I've gotten used to it. However, today was the day I would have it sorted. The car dealer, who sold me the car, always intended to sort out the problem and had bought parts - I'd just not managed to get the car back to him for them to be fitted.

Today, after dropping off another two boxes of books at a charity shop, I scooted over to the dealer. Then I got two replacement struts, rushed home and then fitted the lefthand one. Once fitted the boot stayed up. The other strut was in perfectly good condition, and so I left it alone.

My boot works.

Sweet lord it's a miracle.

Encyclopedias
I've been browsing the web a lot and I must recommend the Wikipedia as a marvellous online source of information. A wiki is a website which its readers can edit. So, the wikipedia is a growing source of information. The ability for anyone to put anything on there seems to be working in its favour, though it could go the other way.

Maybe the nutters have stuck to the Uncyclopedia - a fount of knowledge that surely is wrong, or at least weird. The article which led me to this beauty is one on converting an iPod Nano to 200Gb. Read it through and check out the finished product and the performance statistics. Outstanding!

The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
After some disappointment at missing it at the cinema, I eventually got to see the above movie after buying it on DVD. I would have to say that it was a curious concept (I like the idea of fantasy becoming reality) as the characters of the League of Gentlemen series discover that they're characters, and obsolete ones at that, and go off in search of their writers to put things right. Perhaps the biggest problem with the movie was the sheer lack of jokes and the fact that the filmmaking was so good that the camera tricks seemed less impressive.

I would like to see them live, but I think I've missed the boat.

Beef
There's been a lot of beef eating after I bought a roast the other day and realised exactly how much beef you get in a roast. A lot. Still, I reckon one more meal may do it. It will be a big meal.

Not worthy of much of a title, but it was worthy of eating. Lovely beef. Yum. I even made some beef sandwiches before I left the house to return to work this lunchtime. Mmmm beef!

Cutting off my broadband
My oddest experience of the week came when I asked Telewest to cut off my cable internet, TV and telephone. I went through their system and to the "moving house and not transferring the line" bit. I was asked for a forwarding address for the final bill. I told them that I was moving, but that I was retaining the house and would prefer my bill to be sent there. I don't have a new address yet, not having found anywhere to live. (Note to self: find somewhere to live.)

I was told that I had to give them an address for sending the bill and it had to be a different one. I couldn't do it. I suggested that they put me through to the general disconnection department. I'd just disconnect the line without going through the moving house system. I appreciate that different departments have different scripts to follow.

So, at the general purpose disconnection line, I found myself faced with the question - "Why are you disconnecting". I explained that I was just disconnecting... then I sort of let it slip that I wouldn't be living in the house anymore. The guy was insistent that I speak to the house moving people. I explained that it wasn't a normal moving house thing and that I'd be keeping the house. Could he not just disconnect me. He couldn't. I asked "What if I said I want to be disconnected because I just hate Telewest" he said that he could get someone to help resolve the problem. But there is no problem. I just want to stop paying the bills. He explained that I'd have to move house then and go through their system which required a forwarding address I don't have.

So an impasse. Ok. What if I claim I can't afford to pay the bills any more, so want them to stop. He said he could suspend the account until I could afford to pay the bills. What if I said I was going back to BT? He asked if I was keeping my number... this was getting a lot like dealing with a robot. Yet, I kept my temper. Ultimately, I realise that there are procedures in place to deal consistently with customers and make it all work out. It just seems that there's no straightforward way of saying "I don't want the service no more" without getting caught into some, in my case, irrelevant system. Against my will, I was transferred back to the house moving department.

After a few minutes explaining my problem to someone else, and wondering whether I'd have to give them a fake address for the final bill - which is paid by direct debit anyway, so I don't need to see it... and it's probably a refund of line rental overpaid in advance... I was put on hold. When the lady came back, there'd been a change of heart. I had gotten my way.

Telewest 1 - Ashley 1

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