Sunday, January 28, 2007

Paying monkeys with peanuts possibly to blame

I've had a vegetative day today in front of the television. It has been spoiled only a little by the lack of anyone in the More 4 television channel watching the More 4 television channel on a Sunday. During my interesting documentaries on the state of the world, all advertisements went like this:

"Buy che... car insur.... with Church.... rect."

Whatever machine plays the advertisements had the technological age equivalent of a piece of fluff on the stylus. And no-one at the television channel noticed.

If I owned a televison channel, I'd fire people from time to time. Then they wouldn't spend Sunday alsleep at the switch or reading the Beano with the volume turned down.

The state of the world is not good, by the way.

I may look for 5% of my subscription money back. I lost about 5% of the advertisements between programmes.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Unravelling the arcane world of

Herself was sent an email from to say her sister had kindly purchased a Gift Certificate in her name. Luckily, it has a 12-month expiry, because we'd never shopped on Amazon or any other online store before, and naturally ran into several Newbie pitfalls at first.

First among these was imagining that the Gift Certificate could be used to purchase any item on the Amazon site. It can't. In fact, it can only be used to purchase items available directly from Amazon (and only, as it happened). So the information on the site about the number of "New and Used" items turns out to be irrelevant -- you're going to buy it new and that's it.

Even then, buying new can have its own traps. Usually within an ace of completing the purchase process, a "There's a Problem" message appears. If you're buying from it appears that even stock shipping from a Jersey island amazon outlet is off limits.

However, problems notwithstanding, we have managed to muddle our way to getting a 4 Disc DVD set of Brideshead Revisited (looking forward to viewing that again after all these years) and also a music DVD, including tax, postage and packing, all for only £24.96 sterling.

For the fiscally challenged such as we, there is an unrelated-to-amazon option of purchasing vouchers from agents of the Permanent TSB 3V system which substitute for a Visa card when purchasing online. As the list of mouth-watering goodies online has now started to pique my interest, I think I may look more into this option. There is a shop selling such vouchers five minutes walk from the office.

Oh my poor bank balance...!

Vodafone on the ball again

28 days to get from my shed door to the computer in the dining room. The picture, taken on my mobile phone, was sent by the phone to my email address on 23/12/2006 but only arrived by email on 17/01/2007. The cat, as often happens with cats, was obviously stuck somewhere for all that time. I wonder where she went?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This ain't no stinkin' zombie...!

Yes, I've been busy, so the Blog has been idle. I mean, time flies when you're not having fun, so I suddenly find a whole lot of time has passed since my last post. Sorry, gentle readers, for the infrequent updates.

I spent today walking at a 45 degree angle into the wind and sleet on the Greenhills Road in the name of Work. Work involves inspecting certain areas from time to time to see if the general environmental condition has improved, disimproved, or has stayed the same since the previous inspection. This was a definite disimprovement, as the temperature gauge in the electronic gizmo in the car said it was 3 degrees Centigrade outside. I can vouch for the fact that it was considerably feckin colder with the wind.

Environmentally speaking, in the world of Litter, you may be interested to know that after a fall off, crisp packets are making a comeback, although cigarette butts shall probably never be toppled as a number one litter item. You don't think they're litter, Judge? Well, try counting them in the cold. You'll soon get a sense of the number of them.

Our bus driver this evening made no special announcements and didn't (unlike the bus driver of another evening this week) take a shortcut over unsuitable speed ramps to the rattlement of various spinal cords. A Muslim lady at the bus stop had trouble getting a buggy to collapse though, so she solved the problem by boarding, thrusting a child bagged up in pink eiderdown into the arms of a startled passenger and alighting again to wrestle the damned thing onto the bus. I occasionally offer help in such circumstances, but was too far back in the bus to have gotten there in time. She spent the bus journey trying to eat the child. I note that Herself's daughter also tries to eat her baby at every opportunity. It's a definite Mammy thing.

I really have occasionally asked persons staggering under the weight of shopping if they would like a bit of help boarding a bus. They invariably refuse. I don't know why. I could not run further than five steps with someone's Heinz beans and Coco Pops without being caught or having a coronary. It may be the ponytail that puts them off. They may think I will sell the groceries for sugarlumps.

I am also intrigued by the lack of passengers willing to sit beside me on a bus. Perhaps the fact that I am trying to make room on the seat by scrunging up into a teensy corner and holding my breath dissuades them. A large blue-faced man clutching a manbag and peering out from under the kind of hat only the thick kid at school used to wear may not be conducive to risk-taking. They may think I will take something unspeakable out of the bag or worse -- talk to them. I have seen one-legged women coming from a session with pliers and files at the Chiropodist preferring to stand rather than take the only remaining seat -- beside me.

Bread and butter pudding was forced upon me as a treat this evening so I politely ate it, even though it was covered with hot custard. You have to be polite in the face of such sugary goodness. The fact that I love bread and butter pudding and am fond enough of custard does not detract in the slightest from the ordeal.

Apart from these few hardships, not much is happening. I am to undergo Overtime next week, so transmission may again be interrupted. I may be drunk on Friday. Most likely Saturday though.

Anyhow. Talk to ya.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My turn to get the dread Lurgy, or its cousin

Was quite happy to get back to the day job yesterday, until, as it wore on the pressure in my lower jawbone and around my left eye hinted at the return of a seasonal tooth-and-synus problem. Possibly the notion of being in the office led to some involuntary jaw clenching, but as I went through the emails that had accumulated over my prolonged Christmas holiday, I was comfortable enough with what I found there. My colleagues had looked after my mails and the procedures necessary to keep work moving forward admirably.

"Do you suffer with synus?" my boss said when I complained in passing that I was starting to feel bunged up. "Have you any Sinutab? People who suffer with synus swear by Sinutab."

"Well, I have some problems with my teeth that are adding to it," I replied. "Possibly the start of an abcess."

That was enough.

"There's nothing worse than an abcess. You know, the only solution I could find to one was to hold my head under a cold tap for hours at a time?"

I nodded. My boss is prone to migraine, sweet tooth, and other maladies as a result of stress the same as I am. His solutions and stories are always entertaining though.

"I went to the doctor," he said, "And he gave me an injection for the pain. Well, Jesus Christ! I don't know what the drug was, but if someone had two of them you'd have a serious drugs problem in a minute!

"You see that building over there? Well I got home and I was as high as it! Floating!"

He then proceeded to tell me how the dentist had to drill his tooth (without an injection, which, he said, might help spread infection. I didn't quite see that logic, but however.) to relieve the abcess. I was glad I'd already had my dinner.

I got home last night and the pain started up properly. I had a night of half hours -- half an hour covering my face with a blanket. Half an hour sitting on the side of the bed. Half an hour holding my head up. Half an hour lying down. Each new movement relieved some problem or caused another one.

So, no work today. Antibiotics, pain killers, lots of fluids instead. I hope to get back to the office tomorrow.

Monday, January 01, 2007