Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Plain English

After being asked not to hesitate with comments/criticisms of our new work website, a colleague and I decided that we would speak up for plain English:

I think the following sentence has a couple of pluralisation inconsistencies:

xxx group provides local authorities with (the) ultimate software solution(s) that deliver(s) on the promise of seamless integration and automation from citizen interface(s) to document storage.

But it's still quite long and indecipherable. The following seems to make more sense:

xxx group provides local authorities with software which delivers seamless integration and automation from user interfaces through to document storage.

Cheers, Jamie
The next day I checked the website and they'd used our wording verbatim!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Crazy Prices III received a letter from my GP practice the other day requesting that I provide proof of my address as I had yet to do so. I rang today asking if receiving the letter was proof enough. The receptionist failed to see the hilarious irony of the situation, perhaps due to having to work on the 29th December and speak to idiots ringing up and taking the piss.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mardy Old Bumhead

Laura MarlingCall me a mardy old bumhead (I am nearing 30 after all), but I when I go to see the beautiful sounding (and looking:) Laura Marling I do not want to have to listen to three kids discussing their disappointing drugs score, nor the rest of the audience singing over the top of her. I did not come here to listen to you lot sing! That coupled with the fact she only played three or four songs and the high quality of the other seven or so bands on the Fee Fie Foe Fum line-up made her a bit of a low-light :(

In other news:

I didn't realise just how many Americans are in prison, 1% of the adult population! As stated in a boing boing article on a death row prisoner. An interesting point is made that the population has risen from "normal" to world record beating levels in just the last thirty years.

Continuing my thoughts on the evening up of prices here and abroad, hopefully we might be hearing less of the cries of "rip off Britain!" Though of course those cries will be replaced by complaints about not being able to afford so much while on holiday and that their dear old aunt can no longer afford a choritzo in her local Spanish supermarket on her quickly devaluing UK pension. Still, if she's bought the house she'll be quids in.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Around The Houses

Geeking at StandingsBack in September I bought my sister an Asus Eee PC for her birthday. It's not the absolute wonder that I was hoping, but she seems happy enough with it, once I'd got the flickr uploader working, which was a pain to add to the launcher, but I digress. The keyboard is now quite properly faulty, the s key and space bar work intermittently and the tab key doesn't work at all, though I am pretty sure she won't have noticed that one :) So I head on over to ebuyer to see about returning it, find their online form and fill it in. After going through the whole process it then gave me a number to call ebuyer on. Fine, I call the number. A guy picks up quite quickly, but informs me that Asus deal with returns direct, so gives me their number. I call them, and navigate their telephone menu. I speak to a woman. She tells me that I will need to fill in their online returns form. I have the Eee on my lap, ready to read the serial number as instructed by the ebuyer guy. I try to type in the address, but unfortunately it has the letter s in it. If you want to return your Eee, save yourself some time and money in 087 numbers by going directly to http://uk.asus.com/rma.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What I Made Last Night

dsc_0002Aloo Parathas So good and so simple! They were better than the naan I think, which seemed more of an effort to make. Although the deficiency might have been to do with the difficulties of cooking without a tandoor. My colleauge Shivas tells me that if parathas don't contain gee then they're not parathas, but I suppose that's what you get from using a vegan site. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures, hence the empty glasses.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What I Heard Last Night

Radio 4's Friday Play last night was an adaptation of Eliot Weinberger's essay What I Heard About Iraq, which I'd not heard of before, despite apparently being famous on the net. It's the story of the Iraq war, told almost entirely through quotations. Worth a read, or listen. I'm sure I don't need to mention though, it's neither a light nor a quick read/listen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


In my previous post about overseas ebay prices now being in-line with retailer prices I failed to mention the most obvious candidate: the devaluation of the pound. I can only assume that the lack of comments to this effect means that no one reads my blog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

eBay Prices

The MonsterA few years ago by buying goods on eBay from places like Hong Kong you could make pretty big savings, less if you ended up having to pay tax. Now though that doesn't seem to be the case, I don't know whether the sellers have realised that eBay buyers will pay stupid money for stuff, traditional retailers have realised that they need to reduce their prices or the taxation laws and enforcement has been tightened up. For example, back when I bought my D70s, 18-200mm and SB-600 I think I made about 20% saving by buying from overseas (although at the time I don't think you could get the 18-200mm anywhere else). Now I am looking at getting a D90, SB-400 and 20mm lens there seems to be practically zero saving by buying overseas.

This is turning into a bit of an ebay blog :-/

I still have 7 posts to go to keep up with previous years. That's one post every three days.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Save Me

Small ChangeI've never really had enough money to warrant opening a savings account. Now that I have I am considering the options, and it still doesn't seem worth it. A good rate on a savings account is say 6%, or £60 per £1000 per year. I'm not proud of the fact, but I went out last night and spent nearly £60. I could just not go out once a night per year for every £1000 I have and save nearly the same amount. It just doesn't seem worth the bother. And now that we all know that the banks aren't infallible it might be safer under my mattress. Note to thieves: It's not actually under my mattress.

Of course the closer we get to a zero interest economy the less motivation there will be to save. My house mate and I wondered what the position would be under a negative interest economy, where you get paid to borrow and penalised for saving. Every year you borrow your debt would go down, you would get paid less each year and your house would devalue with your mortgage.

I don't understand why the government is still trying to encourage banks to lend, surely that is what got us in this mess in the first place, if you ask me the best thing they could do would be to bring back student grants and get rid of student loans, which set people up for a life of debt and tell them that borrowing is a fine and normal thing to do.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Jolly Decent Behaviour

It looks like O2 didn't make a mistake with my bill (apart from making it the most confusing bill ever), it seems that they have automatically assigned me the free web bolt-on that is currently being offered to new customers and usually costs me £7.50 a month. I wouldn't have noticed if they'd not given me anything, or even just given me the free O2 to O2 call bolt-on. I have been considering going over to Orange for the HTC Touch HD, but as I now apparently pay £20 a month for 600 minutes and unlimited texts and data on a 30 day contract it would be a bit silly.