Wednesday, March 30, 2005

CF4 600 - Slide - 31 Guildford Cathedral AisleOne reason why decentralisation is a bad idea: when ringing the Inland Revenue, I spend ages going round in circles as I've no idea what the girl was talking. The conversation ran vaguely thus:
She: So what area is it?
Me: I don't know, I need to sort it out, but I can't find the letter with it all on.
She: Yes but do you know what area?
Me: Um, it doesn't say on this letter, I've had something from the Staffordshire office, but I don't live there.
She: But what area is it? When do you want to know about?
Me: When? But, er, oh year! Um, the letter's for 02-03.

And the award for "Most pathetic inability to cope with a Geordie accent" goes to...

She still didn't help though, having told me I don't actually want to pay, and then given me another number which will tell me how many years I have until I can retire. Which I really want to know this side of 2050. Hang on, make that 2045. God that's depressing. And of course, come that time retirement will be an extinct notion, as will pensions.

Reverting back to the other number. I have to ring it to sort out stuff. I ring it. A voice tells me that I have two options: users without a touch tone telephone should hold for a operator, and users with a touch tone telephone should press 1 now. I press 1. Please hold. [click]. We are sorry. We are unable to connect your call. Please try again later. [line dies]. I ring back and this time don't press 1. I hold. I get through, to a message saying Please hold. [click] We are sor...[clunk].

And by "later" do they mean sometime after the end of the tax year?

Continuing on the trying to sort out things theme, I finally took the router back to the shop. He looked at the box, asked what we wanted, we said a working replacement, and he left to get a new box. We didn't even need a receipt. This is the least misery and quarrelsome I have ever know PCW. As he filled in forms on his computer, he gave us some spiel about how reliable Linksys is, and how they never normally get any returns on them products. Only he said it in such a dispirited voice that I got the impression he'd had it drilled into him and he really didn't believe it.

Hmm, and so far, other that inbuilt software (firmware maybe?) being different and giving me options that never existed before, and a new section which explains what all the terms mean, it seems to be fine. I find it slightly disconcerting that I know all the settings off by heart, even if I have no idea what many of them do, except get changed to 38 and the one ending PoA.

And so far, it's run solidly for two and three quarter hours. The signal's still a bit on the lowcal side, but it's still there (although downstairs for a while it was only coming through in waves). One problem with using Radio 4 to test a connection is that the constant stream of speech makes it very hard to type.

And they give me hope and then cruelly dash it. How so? You know how people only make the lead news story when they die (unless they happen to be PM)? Imagine my response when I heard:
"The headlines again: The TV chef Jamie Oliver..."

But no, the fattongue liveth.

Having tired of people discussing German expressionism, I've now switched to Radio 1. Huh? It's changed. I know it probably changed, ooh, about a year ago, but I haven't bothered listening (anyway, I'm normally out now). The only reason I haven't switched to Xfm is Xfm falls apart after quarter of an hour, and Virgin is a glitchy as hell. And then I try looking up SBN, having rediscovered a link to it in my bookmarks, which I've just rejigged. SBN is no longer. The website is for sale. Damn.

Well, at least living under a rock this big keeps the rain off.

So is inhabiting Ville-sous-rock the reason I haven't heard of Green Day? I refer of course not to the band (they used to be better), but to some event designed to confuse the hell out of me when I hear it trailed on music radio. Green in this context meaning environmentally aware and hopefully sustainable. But Green Day? Too clever for its own good.

And Green Day skilfully brings me to the next topic. Having struggled to stifle my sniggers when someone I know added "Oi! Oi! Oi!" to the end of Basketcase (this guy used to fall asleep in every pub and club), how exactly should one react when told, by the Oier, that one is not so much "Oi! Oi! Oi!" as "Oy, oy, oy!"?

Which, by clumsy stereotypes, brings me to a vandalised sign I saw today. It was one of those God is trendy things, only today it proclaimed "Jesus is risen today!". To which someone had appended "Nah mate, last Sunday innit".

Arse. Exactly 3 hours after I started, the router has gone into tunnel-vision mode. Which means the transfer rate drops below 1 Mbps.

Strangely by the time I finished checking the status downstairs, the router page had loaded up here, and rate was back up to normal. Most odd.

I'll go while the signal lasts.


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