Tuesday, September 27, 2005

CF5 600 - Flashless - 05 DesignSo darling, what did you do today?
Well dear, this morning I spent an hour sitting on the floor next to a restless American in a shell suit, in the queue for an office that wasn't open yet.

And that's about the only bit from a massively long rant that I'm going to keep. Basically I was getting annoyed by the following: Poor communication. Poor organisation. Thoughtless design. Usually by experts in the field.

But on the good side my car survived another MOT (surprising everyone, including the mechanic). I've even got the insurance sorted out for £60 less than the renewal quote with the same company. And it's quite fun watching people weep when one mentions that one's annual car insurance premium is £215. Of course keeping the car has become a bit of anachronism, but well, I'm irrational.

A sidenote to all the [now sorted] insurance chaos. The internet is a wonderful thing, especially when Direct Line have a get-a-quote page which wants estimated annual mileage. Except that the accompanying variable comes in the form of a drop down list, which contains one item: the blank space holder usually found at the top of such lists, and which is not a valid answer. So they demand an answer to the question and yet only give the option for one answer which they will not accept. Do you think they were wondering why so few people were getting quotes before I emailed them?

Here's their response (after the automated equivalent of "please hold", and with their special markings)
 Hi and thanks for your feedback. I’m sorry that you have experienced
 problems with our website.

Now why would that be? Could it be you've noticed problem=no money?

 As you may have noticed our site has recently undergone a major redesign
Do you know, I hadn't. I'm terribly sorry, but keeping abreast of the latest developments of a no-longer-competitive insurer's website isn't all that high on my list of priorities.

 with the range of available online services being enhanced.
Yeah, I noticed the enhancements.

As this work
 cascades across the site occasionally a minor problem may arise.

Occasional and minor. Sure. Wiping out the part of the site that is the starting point of a lot of new (and sensible returning) customers in the company's largest business area. Minor.

 If you try the site again you should be able to complete your enquiry or
 alternatively you can call us on 0845 246 8701 and our linked telesales
 department will be happy to help you.

Would that be the one who charge me more simply because it's being done over the phone? Oh, and by the way, the fault's still not fixed two days later (and it does seem to be a really simple bit of HTML to do the inputs).

 Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention and once again my
 apologies for the problems you have encountered.

I've just checked and it works better in IE (my default is Firefox), but they quote a premium of £315 with an excess of £200 (yet Norwich Union do it for £215 with £50 excess. Sometimes I think they're just not trying). So do I feel like going back and enlightening them? Or do I just write back saying "sorry, too late, too crap, gone with NU"?


And what is it that you are regarding? The light breaking through yonder window?

 Direct Line Insurance, Retail
Poor boy. Just imagine how cruel the parents would have to be to call their child that. I know "Direct Line Insurance" is a bit of a stymieing surname, but to call a child Retail as well? That's nearly as bad naming your child after a branch of the family hotel chain.

And while I'm on stupidity: automatic insurance renewal reminders, as sent out by competitors. They assume an insurance policy runs until the end of the month, so they send out reminders and quotes by email on the 28th. Which when the policy expired on the 27th. Bit late. Although the worst offender was confused.com. I'd used them the day before (and had enough trouble doing that. Don't forget your password, because they claim they'll email it out "shortly". The next day is not shortly, and their system is so intelligent it automatically recognises data on file, so if, like me, you've forgotten your password, you can't create a new account, because it says "I know you. You've already got an account. Please enter your password").

But in other news, I've remembered the PIN I need to top-up my phone credit. Just two days after I got it overwritten.

And why is hotmail being so thick of late? Each time I try logging in I get a different version of the login page, most of which demand certificates to be accepted which then don't work, and if they do it takes me to a page several clicks away from the inbox. Are they trying to kill it off so then they can launch anti-competition lawsuits at Google?

I really don't understand.


Monday, September 26, 2005


Keypad nicht gelocken.

Your remaining credit is zero pence.
Thank you for calling.

Left to its own devices, my phone magically started exploring WAP (hmm, what happened to that try it free for a month when you first use it thing?). Maybe the phone felt left out by my exploring today.

But still, the future's looking less bright right now. It's probably just as well I'm a miser who was still on his first £10 of credit (over a year after buying the thing). Admittedly the con to not using it is that it beeps more often to signal the battery is on the wane than it does to say someone wants me.

Anyway, today was an oddly fruitless day. Oystered up and raring to go, I got to the proverbial B, and decided my premptiveness was a wee bit pointless. Lots of other people had had that idea too. My cunning fallback plan of looking up an email address or phone number didn't work either. The equally cunning people neglect to put anything more informative than a general switchboard number on the relevant chunk of website.

So after a couple of holding loops and recon fly-bys, during which I could only ever find one end of the queue, and it wasn't the right one (well, it was ultimately, but it's not a good idea to annoy an unknown number of people), I adjourned to the "largest lost property department in the world". At least that's what the graffiti in the loos there claim the British Museum to be.

Noticing potential photographs along the way, I went up to the Money room (because it was just the one room, and I'd never been to it).

Money is fascinating. I only had time for about a third of the room, but the poster on the end wall was informative enough on its own. Just the ideas and politics can easily keep one entertained, but the craftsmanship and innovation are surprising as well. It had never really occurred to me that coins haven't changed since pre-Roman times. Will they ever though? Modern money is more about the little oblong of metal embedded in plastic than a little oblong of metal on by its self. And does that mean that in some distant time, there'll be a collection of people peering at a mounted selection of tarnished VISA holograms?

Anyway, got stuff to do, so I'd better go. Oh, and does anyone know which number I have to call to top-up my credit (I think it has nasty dead-phone status descending quite fast on unused and bankrupt phones)? Orange and Sony Ericsson have designed this phone so well that I can't find anything related. It's their money I can't earn them.


PS. Forgive that unspellcheckedness - diff comp to usual.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

2005-09-21 Boat Show 018Well that was fun. A week of not being able to eat (one and half Weetabix is not breakfast); not being able to sleep (except in stupid places at stupid times); not being able to stand up straight, nor being able to look down; not being able to self regulate anything; and most worrying of all not being able to think. So a week of all that, and then, on the Friday, the nasal fluids start.

That's just taking the piss.

Ok, so it wasn't an entire week of it, as I managed to function enough to boat show on the Wednesday (and repay the debt on the Thursday), but still, being ill with symptoms which match flu, except for the complete lack of cold related items, then getting the drips, sneezing, coughs, and now sore throat, as I recover? That's just not on. What happened? Did the virus put the DNA in the wrong way round*?

* Please do not point out the numerous faults in that sentence.

So what have I been up to (ignoring Greece, as that is a BIG write up, and I don't have time, he said who shouldn't be writing this)? This week I have discovered that:

- Amazon do not have a log out button (presumably it's the "if you're not X", but that suggests you have to lie to stop your details sitting on the computer and the network).

- Amazon are amazing. Or not. Ordered book on Tuesday morning from marketplaceer who reputedly send things out the same/next day 1st class. Dispatch confirmation comes through at 17.30 on Wed. Hmm. Is that "in the post" or merely sitting in an out-tray with a label on it, waiting for tomorrow? Nothing on Thursday. Nothing on Friday; early morning inspection of garden in case the postal fairy has been (the local postman is, er, innovative when it comes to parcels. Protocol says stick through the letterbox if it fits, otherwise fill out a card to say the address has a parcel waiting at the sorting office (and stick that through the door; this important step has been known to be missed), and take the parcel back. The postman says "sod that" to lugging stuff back with him [it's better than saying "sod that" to carrying the stuff in the first place - I've come across postmen who carry nothing but the cards], and so leaves the parcel on the property, whether it's wedged in the letterbox, left on the doorstep, buried in the grapevine, left outside the back door, left on the kitchen windowsill, left on the table deep in the back garden (he had a good explore, didn't he?), left under a boat or left on a boat. However most marks must go to the postman who left a book inside the newspaper recycling bin. Obviously he realised a poorly wrapped book would not survive the back door step weather, and so he chose to put it in a waterproof plastic box, so thoughtfully padded with newspaper, and conveniently left outside the kitchen door. Perhaps his local borough council does provide branded boxes for exactly this purpose. This one doesn't. Which brings me to my next point.

- All recycling is not equal. Wondering why the neighbouring borough in one direction recycles plastics, but not cardboard, and the neighbouring BC in the other does cardboard but not plastics, while here does neither, I started investigating. It turns out borough councils get government goodies in return for recycling. Not much of a surprise there. Except BC A who accept plastics for recycling, and earn Gordon Brownie points for doing so, er, don't actually recycle it. It awaits recycling until such a time as there are facilities and the capacity to recycle it. No one seems to know facillitaries there currently are, and what the planned expansions and improvements are going to be, if any.

Now having taken the money for the recycling it they can't donate it to landfill. And being prevented by the EU from shipping to other member states who can recycle it (under laws designed to prevent the dumping of rubbish into foreign landfills, and so intended to create responsible refuse strategies), the BC rents a warehouse. They fill it up with unrecyclable recyclables. And when it fills they rent another one. Congratulations, we've progressed to buildingfill.

And is anyone else wondering when we will see the first houses built out of fridges? People already use tyres, and fridges must be fairly well insulated.

By the way, the other side BC, who take cardboard don't recycle it either. It gets incinerated, sorry, I mean thermically oxygenated.

Recycling's not what it used to be*. For a start, the home collection thing takes out the best bit: bottle banks. The smash and subsequent booming cascade was so much fun, but now we're not supposed to do that. We're supposed to let strange men recreate little versions of it repeatedly at some fiendishly early hour.

* It's what it is now - the tagline abandoned by the Izzard-headed campaign because they thought it sounded desperate.

- I forget to finish Amazon anecdotes. Friday: nothing. Just before they closed I went to enquire (You'd have got a card. You've not got a card. Yes, I know, but it was first class and it was posted two days ago*, and I have known the cards to go missing before, so could you possibly check for me, please?). No luck. I know the Amazon email, from Amazon, not the seller, said delivery was anytime between the beginning of October and Christmas, but I assumed that was Amazon being stupidly conservative, in a lawsuit-shirking way.

I worry, annoyed, as being me, I'd left it late ordering it anyway. The book arrives on Saturday, and it's a lot smaller than I expected. I'm used to science textbooks which weigh more than a sumo baby. This thing's practically sleek. It's got big printing and white space. Although it is printed on very thin paper (handy for reading four pages at once). So now all I need to do is read the thing, and understand every bit of it.

* Not that first class means tomorrow anymore, thanks to "higher priority" which just means they don't shove back down the sofa they pulled it out of. All this because a slight wobble led them to sack the people and drop the contracts which would have matched all their systems up and made it all work. The joy of cost-cutting to save the now-slumped share price from a marginal blip. Remember kids, innovation is a dangerous thing and no good can come from it. Just say no to "new".

- Science written about by non scientists is certainly enlightening. Now, that's not technically true. I can see what you've done, but you can't say that because you've missed out this. It's also very odd to have a book state something and not even consider that it might need to explain why. I know why, but it's nice to have the mantra (and it doesn't bode well for inevitable bits I won't get).

- I'm out of practice at reading for information gain. Hence I'm blogging instead of being a hundred and fifty nice pages into the thing.

- Boat shows never change. Except when they do. Nearly bought a couple of Fatface tops but didn't, despite generous reductions (FF at least do proper 50% or more reductions at the boat show. It used to be full of end of season stuff, but now lots of places think 10% is being generous, and that's if they're not showing off their new three-years-hence stock).

- Pontoons aren't the best places for people with illness induced balance issues. Nothing happened, other than some heavy leaning.

- The entire sales staff of Etap yachts couldn't find the right halyard to pull to stop one clanging on a mast. It was the only one in the place making noise. Hands up if you'll be buying anything from them.

- Considering it was a boat show, there were some very unboaty people around. I mean that in both senses. Sense one doesn't really matter, because judging on looks is wrong and dangerous (although good choice in the strappy stilettos. My grandmother once wore heels on a boat. Returning from some drinks do on my grandfather's ship, she clambered down towards the boat. Drink having been taken she forgot which shoes she had on, and being her, she jumped down into the middle of the company launch. Both heels went straight through the bottom boards. Family mythology neglects to include any further detail. So heels plus boats is not a good combination). But sense two does. One of the Show Patrol boats was being manned by someone who acted as if he had never been near any boat. I first saw him kneeling on the external sides of two RIBs, both with space either side and one completely untied and only held by the guy sitting at the controls (who was leaning across, apparently without killcord with an engaged engine). He wasn't apparently doing anything. I think he was trying to work out what he'd forgotten and choosing a growing chasm to do it over.

- There were some very unboaty things. Like the section of pontoon where the traditional lumps of plastic or wood had been replaced by imported extra pontoon, upon which sat a collection of Jacuzzis, with at least one filled. Does anyone else think bringing your own floatation so you can float a large tank of water is a little odd? Especially as solid ground is only a few hundred yards away, and I'm sure they could fit in another stand of Jacuzzis.

- There were some very unboaty boats. The usual Sunseekers, now grown big enough to keep the entire staff of Gordon's and Plymouth distilleries employed.

- The muppets selling insurance never learn. Is your boat insured sir? Yes. Are you aware that we offer... [not giving a damn] No. What boat do you own sir? A Wayfarer (well /I/ don't own it). Excellent choice sir. May I ask you a few questions about your boat sir? [shrug] What is your annual mileage? Um, I'm not sure I see. Could you hazard a guess? Not sure? In which continents do you use your boat? Er... Europe. Nowhere else? I can't think of anywhere else. Do you have gas fitted in your boat sir? No. That's good. What navigation systems do you have fitted? None really. Bu...? [seeing higher commission on higher premiums] Reliant on the traditional methods are we? What size engine do you have? [thinking of the never used Seagull] I can't remember, it's quite small. And how many does your boat sleep? I've never slept on her. How many cabins does she have? She doesn't. Just the main? She doesn't. No cabins? Rooms then. How many rooms? None. A distinctive choice sir. What is the waterline length of your boat? 16 ft I think, but I'm not sure that's at the waterline. Sixty? A racer then? No, six-teen. You do know a Wayfarer's a dinghy, don't you? [about three seconds of blank grey face, then a slightly out of control turn and he walks away without saying another thing]

- The Guinness stand had moved although tracking the Guinness hats (complete with model pints on strings a la Aussie corks) would probably find it again. But one of the magazines which line one side of the front lane had hit upon the idea of giving out free Gin and Tonics. Obviously the plastic bag wars had got too much for them. But the free G&Ts had rather obviously been enjoyed by many of the staff on nearby stalls.

Hmm, I stopped writing this late last night, and I now I don't remember what else there was.

So photos on Flickr. Those of Greece aren't the complete set, and might not all be by me (don't ask).

Chaos looms over car, tax, fees, loans, houses and god knows how much else. Yeah, don't go on holiday for the first half of an MOT month, especially not when one's live is about to shift radically anyway. I'm going to forget something.

Which reminds me: how come despite gaining an extra year of no claims bonus, an extra year away from being an irresponsible age, Norwich Union think I ought to be paying more than I did last year for exactly the same car? Does this mean I have to go and pretend to be someone knew to get the welcome-discounts? Or do I spend the rest of my life alternating annually between two insurance companies?

I'm tired, worried, and running out of time.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

2005-07-31 mgb 006I'm back.

And somewhere along the line I've lost the ability to regulate body temperature. Yesterday I spent the day succumbing to sporadic and sustained bursts of shivering. I thought it was my body not coping well with the transfer from a fortnight of warm wind to this cold and damp land. Then I spent a very sweaty night in contorted failed sleep, also while succumbing to sporadic and sustained bursts of shivering. Sweating whilst shivering? I haven't done that in a long while, and then it was only because I collapsed into post-deadline illness.

But I can't be ill; I've only just back from holiday, and I've too much to do. Like wobble worryingly everytime I bend forward, have incredibly painful headaches, retch for no reason, run out of steam one and a half Weetabix into breakfast, or completely lose the ability to think. And how many points do I get for microwaving an empty plate or falling asleep on a pile of washing?

I don't like it when things, like my brain, don't work, or when water suddenly starts tasting disgusting.

Anyway, in other news, I was in Greece, now I'm not. There will probably be a big write up at some point, but not now. Coming back was interesting, due to the sheer innovation deployed by Greek airports (save on seats my making everyone stand in queues for their entire time in the airport. Better yet, start the queues in full sun outside. Create self perpetuating queues which are not in fact queues merely collections of people who think they're in a queue, even if they're not sure what it is for. Ensure the outlet from any desk feeds directly into the head of any other queue. Make sure bags get X-rayed twice, even if in both cases the overseer is distracted or called away. Only provide scant information in announcements in garbled Greek, despite the fact that every passenger in the airport is British and every flight for the next 8 hours goes either to Manchester or Gatwick. Arrange flight numbers so that each consists solely of some combination of only fives and zeros. Ensure the boarding cards contain no more information than the seat number. State boarding for all flights occurs at sundry non-existent gates, then only use one gate for all flights. Coerce staff into having blazing rows with each other rather than getting on with their jobs [and as for the girl who abandoned her handheld VHF which was ranting voraciously in the middle of the departure lounge - Nice touch]). As was the brilliant Thomas Cook Airlines information film on avoiding depth vein thrombosis which recommended drinking plenty of water, which was only available when purchased at exorbitant prices made more exorbitant by their Pound-Euro conversion rate, the fact they only accept whole Euros, and can't give change on purchases made in Euros (I didn't actually buy any, having had a few gallons on me, or at least on me until I had to stand in the sun for ages before the flight).

Anyway, so the flight left late, and after a short wordless argument over a blind, and discovering that for some films the sound is so obvious that the fact it isn't there is irrelevant, we landed late. By fluke our bags appeared almost instantly (and why is it that despite obvious and distinctive markings, some people will still peer intently at a bag, or worse still pick it up, thinking it is their own, even if it didn't have those stripes on when they left?), and (after a quick use of a loo which actually works, and can cope with such a robust force as wet loo paper) we managed to buy tickets and find ourselves on a train 32-minutes after landing.

I've also discovered why I have so far been unable to successfully visualise the railway system round Gatwick. It never occurred to be that a train could come from one direction and leave in the same direction, albeit branching off down a different line (although apparently such a concept upsets the computers too; things like the thetrainline.com all list the single journey as one train followed by a change onto another train, which just happens to be the one you just got off). Anyway, we were busy being pleased with ourselves for such an efficient end to the journey; that is until we encountered the 57-minute wait to catch a train the last few miles. Annoyingly, our train past the 3-minutes-earlier train as it left and we came in. If they had a halt where the lines meet, then we could have got back before it was dark.

Then back into a cold, dark and damp house, which has been invaded by gargantuan spiders. And sometime in the past fortnight there's been a power cut, so everything which wasn't already unplugged needs resetting. A few hours later and the orange ceiling is discovered. Uh-oh. It's wet. So's the airing cupboard, and everything in it. Rapid investigation reveals the leak to be on the pipe feeding the cold-water tank. Helpfully the last plumber had removed the isolating tap on the pipe, and replaced it with something which I'm sure fulfils the criteria laid out in numerous EU directives but which also needs a screwdriver to operate. So just turning off the mains it is then.

So I had a very fun early Monday morning being cold, tired, dirty and dehydrated, while seeking out wrenches of various sorts. I tightened the compression nut along a bit of pipe coated in accretions. It appeared to solve the problem. Judging by the drip rate and the amount of water damage, I'd guess it was probably people returning to the house (and using the loo) which triggered it, as the ceiling stains were from leached tannins, not mould growth (and what does it say about where I've lived that I can judge the age and intensity of such damage on spec?).

But then it seems I'm not the only with pipe problems.

So what's happened since I've been gone? The Guardian got wet (or some would argue wetter) and so shrank (and having the familiar shift between two episodes of normality is an ideal way to propogate confusion). The Katrina and the waves saga rumbles on (what? Somebody has to do the reference to resurrected one-hit-wonders). There was something to do with petrol, although I'm not sure what (it's a bit like being a child missing a couple of weeks of Neighbours and then coming back to it: it's all a bit muddling, but then you realise it really doesn't matter). There's something about people misusing their positions (Blunkett again this time). The government's moved boo-hiss stuff until after the election (something about "period of review", and nothing to do with losing votes). The Lib Dems are having a conference (hands up if you missed that and hadn't left the country). The German elections have been and, er, not gone. And someone somewhere has been having talks, discussions or consultations.

Anything I've missed? (Actually is there a while-you-were-gone recap website which has brief bits of news from the last week, fortnight, month, etc? If not there ought to be) Other than the Stuttgarterisation of London Dan (which I think I'll class as perfect timing). And someone wanting to know if they sell toys of the Citroen Transformer - not that I know of, but they should (I know they're trying to sell cars not toys, but money's money. But then Lemon cars don't even have the advert on their site).

Coincidentally, I've just been forwarded an advert which bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain advert featuring a French car dancing on a roof in San Francisco. Unlike the mickey-take 2CV one, this is apparently a legit advert, this time for Danish Bacon. And yes I know most of the Google results date from July, but I am out in the sticks both physically and socially.

I'd better stop now as the shivering's started again and typing is hard.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

2005-08-31 051Hello,

I know I haven't posted in while, but it's just that I've a succession of unfinished posts, and suddenly no time to finish them. Oh, by the way, I'm about to disappear for a bit; maybe tell you later.

Anyway, hope you're all having fun (at least those of you not wondering why I'm not providing a full listing of shops stocking Doc Martens in Leicestershire or wondering what the font used in Harry Potter books is). I'm sure you can entertain yourselves while I'm gone (stop sniggering); browse the sidebar, peruse the archives, play round on Flickr (sorry the latest batches aren't fully tagged and titled, time has lift greater than or equal to etc. Speaking of which laugh or wince [possibly Vicky V]).

That better be it, as I've got to go to bed for an obscenely short amount of sleep.


PS. Just got very confused when I saw the time. Blogger's still on GMT.

Friday, September 02, 2005

GF1 600 - 22 GooseberryI'm annoyed, yet too tired to be annoyed.

Perhaps I'm being naive, but surely if I'm paying someone to do something, I expect them to be able to do that something better than I can do myself. Surely that's how this whole capitalism thing works. Person A does job. Person B wants job done. Person B lacks time, money, skills or inclination to do job. Person B pays person A to do their job.

But not with barbers. I gave fairly standard instructions; grade 2 back and sides, finger width on top, longer towards the front. It never varies, although the interpretations do. Is it a good thing that my how I have my hair cut can be summed up in 13 words?

It's evolved into this fixed pattern. Grade two because my hair's so thick it looks the same as a 3 or 4. Grades three or four start curling within the week, and the hair on the side of my head curls upwards, which is great for whenever I wish to impersonate Dickens. Grade one is out because A. It's not the done thing (standard responses to that sort of thinking: 1. Who gives a damn? 2. Stop being so shallow that you judge people over the matter of a couple of millimetres of hair. 3. And badly bleached hair impersonating a deployed airbag is? [no pointing out that whole shallow-judging thing]), B. White skin greyed by stubble isn't a good look.

Finger width on top as then it encourages the barber to cut it with scissors (unless the feel like applying the clippers to the back of their knuckles), and also manages to usually get the barber to cut it short enough that I don't lapse into what my mother used to affectionately call my "blackberry bush" look (well, she thought it was affectionate). So according to my mother's thinking, some people look like they've been dragged through a hedge backwards, and then some of us just look like the hedge in the first place. That's a great way to build up confidence in a child.

Longer towards the front as that's the only place I'll tolerate curls (oh to have straight, long, blond hair, to have hair that actually flops, or at least shows some acknowledgement of the concept of gravity. I used to have blond hair, although I used to have a tricycle too). Due to bizarre head topology I need something to counterbalance the nose. Some people are the face that launched a thousand ships, whereas some have a face like the launch of a thousand ships. So that's crewcuts or buzzcuts or whatever you want to call them out (yes it took me a couple of experiments, and being insulted by someone I'd only just met, who incidentally looked like he had until recently had a panicked seagull ensnared in his hair, before I realised that if I don't like my nose, giving it unfettered reign in the prominence stakes really wasn't a good idea).

So a fairly standard haircut. Given such instructions the barber ignores part of instructions, cuts my hair, then announces he's finished.
"How's that mate?"
"Er, fine, I think" (How the hell should I know? You're the supposed professional, and you've got a far better view; I can only see the very front from 6 foot off).

I pay, leave, go home, and realise that there's large bits he's forgotten to cut (I didn't notice in the shop as my hair is curly, so never looks good when it's just been cut [and the last clause may be extraneous]). Well, he might have cut them a bit, but he cut the rest more, which might be fine if I intended to have a funkily asymmetric mohican, but it's just that pretty much any sort of controlled style fails when applied to curly hair. I'm fairly sure one isn't supposed to be able to grab hair with one hand and not the other.

I've just been asked "Did you get a haircut?", which would be a normal question, if only the person asking it hadn't already know that I was going for a haircut, and asking the question the same tone as "Are you sure?".

Sorry, but I'm pissed off that I wasted time and money to get a haircut, on the grounds it would be quicker than if I did it myself, and that it would be better cut than if I did it myself. It wasn't in either case.

I can't even go back to the shop and make a fuss because they'll have closed. And it's not like the incredibly crap barber would do any better the second time round. I know I'm aware that he's the worst of the two that were there, but I didn't have enough time to twist (Pontoon reference. Oh dear with matchsticks on).

And they've put their prices up again, as has the next cheapest barbers, who are crap, although very quick. Obviously oil prices rising post-hurricane have increased the cost of production of combs, and consumer level adjustments have had to be made. Despite all this, I haven't returned to the ultimate cheap barbers, as the last time I tried there, there was something vaguely reminiscent of Keith Flint about the resulting haircut (and he dropped cigarette ash in my hair).

Suddenly it's not so surprising that a surprising number of people I know cut their own hair. They have a head start by knowing exactly what they want (hair that doesn't flick up. Check. Hair that doesn't resemble a tidal race. Check. Generally a complete absence of curls, or evidence thereof. Check, but it's a bit unlikely). Once they get past the initial awful haircut (blame it on trying out a new place), they rapidly rise to level of passable. Given enough experience, they may even become good. Some of them even become confident enough to start cutting other people's hair (and restart the process with a whole different hair type. Either that or he just enjoyed cutting hair progressively shorter. To be fair, unlike Paddington, he did get it even in the end).

But most annoyingly of all, I keep have IP-address conflict errors popping up.
[One advantage of not finishing and publishing posts is that one can do updates in the same post]
Being very annoyed, I made a few amendments myself after writing the beginning section of the post. It took about 5 minutes to correct the mistakes, which is either a thoroughly good thing as it means I can be both quick and competent, or it's a horrendously bad thing because it suggests the professional is so lazy or inept that he couldn't do such a simple task. Now given I'm not inclined to thinking the best of myself on any occasion, this leads to a rather depressing conclusion.

A fortnight later, and my hair is verging on needing another cut (and of course this time I'll have tan lines to worry about as well). I knew he didn't cut it short enough.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?