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Archive for the category “1BEM”

April 1st

And so, another International Day of Japery and Shit Tricks/Jokes/Pranks.

Happy Happy Joy Joy.

 

Normal programming will be resumed tomorrow.

Six Weeks and Counting

Last night (well, technically this morning, as it happened at 00:01) the UK Parliament was dissolved, in preparation for the General Election on May 7th.

So that’s six weeks of most televised news coverage/programmes, with pontificating ballbags – both politicians and commentators/experts/specialists spouting loads of crap from all the available parties about what they promise to do for the next few years (and almost certainly won’t actually do, once they get in)

As with the run-up to the Festering Season, I’m going to try and avoid as much of it as possible.

I will do (and have been doing) my own reading on who to vote for – mainly by using the actual party’s websites, but also this outline guide, which is vaguely handy – who to support and who not.

I’m still considering (and at this point strongly considering) doing my own party for the next General Election, and seeing how things go. It could be entertaining – which is more than I can say for the next six weeks of bullshit…

Missing Limb

This morning I somehow managed to leave my phone at home. (Well, I hope it’s at home – otherwise I’ve done something really stupid with it)

It’s quite an odd feeling really – you only realise how much you use the damn thing when it’s not there. The ubiquity of a smartphone for simple things is suddenly noticeable.

Already today I’ve had several thoughts of “Oh, I’ll just get the phone and…”, followed by the realisation that I can’t.

Calling it a “missing limb” is a bit hyperbolic, but it’s definitely a feeling of something missing, something you’re used to having around that’s not there any more.

I’ll be fine – it’s not like I’m surgically attached or anything – but every so often something will jar, and I’ll think “Bollocks” again.

Let’s just hope the damn thing is at home.  I’m sure it is, but there’s that nagging ‘what if you did something dumb?‘ mental voice going on…

Change is Gonna Come

As per comments on the previous post about my asshole energy suppliers, I will definitely be looking at changing them this year.

However, because of the ongoing billing fuckups, right now I have no decent figures for comparison purposes. I’m sure I’m not getting a good deal from the cockwhistles at nPower, but I don’t actually know for sure how bad the deal is. I haven’t had a clear and accurate bill in nearly three years – which makes figuring anything else out into quite a struggle.

As always, I don’t see the point in changing anything until I know I’m getting a better deal – so for now I’ll be keeping things with nPower.

However, that’s only for the next couple of months, during which time I’ll be keeping an eye on actual usage and what I’m paying. Once I’ve had the next bill, and know more about the usage and expectations, I’ll be able to make a far better estimation of what I’m spending versus what I could/should be spending.

And from that point, I’ll then have to decide whether I’m going to stick with [current location] for at least another year’s tenancy. If I am, and there’s a good offer around, I’ll swap. Until then, it’s going to be about making sure I’ve got the figures to back up the decision one way or t’other…

Energy Madness

Since moving to the new (current) place, I’ve had an ongoing (and too depressing for words) set of issues and disputes with nPower. These have included, but not limited to

  • Not having the correct name on the account for eighteen months, despite repeated requests to change it
  • Losing documentary proof (including my tenancy agreement) of my address. Originals were insisted upon, sent recorded delivery, signed for, and then lost.  Hard to place blame anywhere except nPower
  • Billing issues – my bills went up, down, sideways, and every way except correctly
  • Misrepresentation – sending a meter reader into my house under the guise of being someone to do ‘legal gas meter checks’.  (This was also while the bill/account was in the wrong name, so there was also some issues legally around that)
  • A meter reading done by a representative of nPower, who then managed to register that reading to a completely different address, and denied ever having done one for this house. (Despite his having done readings/visits recorded to every other house in my block at the same time)

So it’s fair to say that I regard nPower as incompetent useless dickwhistles at the best of times.

Today, though, has taken it to a whole new level.

Things have settled down somewhat, and on Tuesday I gave them a meter reading directly through the website.  At that point, my account was £1.62 in credit.  Happy day, all well and good.

Today I logged in for a quick check. £595.82 in credit.  Um, what? So I look, and it’s got four cancelled bills, adding up to the amount in credit.  Four bills I’ve received, and paid. Now cancelled. File under “Fuck, What The”

So I gave them a call. The first incompetent managed to put the phone down on me. So I called back, and finally got through to one of the (few) efficient and competent individuals who work at nPower. (I’m quite sure she won’t last long, having been actually pleasant and competent)

It turns out that – once in receipt of a valid meter reading – nPower cancel out all the estimated bills back to the previous correct reading. They then recalculate all those bills with the correct figures (although technically they must still be estimates of what was used, averaging out the figures over the number of bills) to bring everything back up to date.  So for however far back, the bills get cancelled – despite having been printed, posted and paid – and then recreated.  Then I’ll know what I need to pay to be up to date.

Except of course that they’ve also got to send out all those new bills. So next week I’m going to get five bills from nPower – the four reconstructed ones – as well as the one to bring me up to date.

Now, I realise that this is something that’s required by the energy regulator – but does it strike anyone else as a completely fucking barking way to run a business?

Shit on the Sidewalk

I’ve come to the conclusion that in some circumstances, I bloody hate dogs.  Well, more the dog owners, rather than the dogs themselves. Let me explain…

Every time I walk around the village in daylight (which I do a fair amount, due to an increased rate of exercise etc.) there are areas that are just covered in dog shit.  Particularly in the area where it’s footpath across fields, any time you step off the pavement (for a cyclist, or other people) you’re at risk of stepping in shit. It’s even riskier in the evenings, because you’ve no chance of seeing the fucking stuff.

There are shit bins at either end of this particular footpath, but no, these people just allow their dogs to shit and leave it.  They also let it happen in the alleyways between houses – as a houseowner there, I’d be debating CCTV  and/or violence. I wonder how they’d feel if I went and took a dump on their doorstep one day?

As a prospective dog owner (or indeed an actual dog owner) you must surely understand that picking up dog shit is part of the deal. I always understood that, and would pick it up wherever possible – obviously if they’ve run across miles/fields and there’s no-one ever going to go in that direction, you’re less likely to pick it up – but if it was ever near/on somewhere people would regularly walk, I picked up after Hound.

The facilities are there. Fucking use them.  People piss me off.

Publicity

Over the last few weeks, there’s been a whole load of stuff talked about IS (AKA Islamic State, Isal, or ISIS) – both stuff about hostages held by IS (and the killing thereof) as well as politicians saying how people who go to fight for IS in Syria and the like are just Wrong.

Maybe I’m missing something, but surely if you don’t want people to go and fight for IS etc., there’s a few things that could be done ?

  1. Don’t keep feeding them the oxygen of publicity. The more they’re mentioned, the more they’re talked about and covered in the media, the more they’ll be seen as an attractive option by those of a certain persuasion / defective nature.
  2. If you feel they have to be publicised, you do the same as happened to the IRA, where no spokesman was allowed to be broadcast, any statement was done by an actor’s voice, so on and so forth.
  3. And make sure you don’t show anything but disgust for them. Fuck impartiality, allow presenters etc. to show what they think. Make it clear, say “The terrorist organisation IS has done this, but that’s the most we’ll say about it”.

If you take away the glamour of the organisation, stop feeding them airtime and headlines, they’ll stop being popular.

Of course, the other thing that can be done is to stop focussing on, and alienating, those sectors of the populace, making them feel that the country is against them.

As an example of that, I’ve a colleague who happens to have the surname Ahmed. He flies a lot for the company at the moment, and has been told – in no uncertain terms – “Oh, your name makes sure you’ll never be on the accelerated access programme to get back into the UK”.  That’s a completely law-abiding, tax-paying, UK-resident, UK-born person, who now feels more victimised than he has any right to.

But of course as a nation, we’re not letting terrorists win.  Riiiight.

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