Withdrawn

Over the last week, I was supposed to go to two different concerts. In the end I didn’t go to either of them.

The first one turned into a farce, with tickets not delivered, a venue with a remarkably disinterested customer services team, and all just became a lot more hassle than it was worth.  I’ve been in touch with them since, and there’s been some progress, but still, not a good experience at all.

The second one, well, I just wasn’t in the mood at all. I’d purchased the ticket when the gig was initially announced, but as it came closer to the day I was totally unfussed about it, not at all excited or even looking forward to it.  And then on the day itself, I’d been for lunch at one of my favourite places (newly re-fitted and re-opened) and was feeling epically fat as a result, which isn’t really conducive to a good concert.

In both cases though, I also just wasn’t really in the mood for dealing with people – and particulary the type of vacuous bastards that seem to be the gig-going majority at present.

I was going to write a bit more about how I was dealing with it, and some of the other stuff around sociability (or lack thereof) but at the moment I can’t really be chuffed to do so.

More during the week, I’m sure.

Reinsuring

The world of Car Insurance is very, very strange.  I truly don’t understand how it all works.

My car insurance is due for renewal in October, so I recently received the renewal gubbins from my current insurer.  They’ve put my insurance up by £60 for the year.  Bear in mind, I’ve not even spoken to them all year, let alone made a claim, and I’ve now got another year’s no claims discount as well.  And yet it’s gone up.

So I shopped around, doing the usual comparison website thing (Meerkats rather than opera singers) and got one that’s actually £120 cheaper than what I was being offered by the current insurer – and with slightly better cover.

Brilliant, I’ll sign up and do that.  Job done. And this is where it all gets weird(er)

My new insurer is actually one I used a couple of years ago. So when I log in to their ‘self-service portal’ to see my new policy, all I can see is the details of the old one. Fuck sake.  (It looks like the policy is actually tied to a combination of my username and password – so I can change password, and now view the new details instead – but I didn’t know that at the time)

So first things first, I call my current insurer to tell them I won’t be renewing with them. It’s the usual automatic phone gubbins, and gives the name of the insurance provider – let’s call them ABC Insurers, for the sake of argument.   I give the correct information, go through, tell them I won’t be renewing, explain why, and it’s as easy as that.

Then I call the new insurers. Who are also using ABC Insurers.  So I go through the correct information for the new insurance, get things sorted, get the documents emailed to me, and it’s as easy as that.

But it’s weird – I’ve used two different companies (well, two different front-ends) and given them the same information (obviously) but one faction is offering me a significantly better deal than both the one I’m on, and the renewal quote from the one I’m on.  But they’re both the same company underneath!

How the fuck does that make sense? Offering the same person two completely different prices (and slightly different packages/benefits)  Why not allow my current insurer to offer the same price as my new one?  It’s all just a bit bizarre.

Equinoctual

Today is the Autumn Equinox, when the day and night are equal in length.

What that means is the from now until next March, the nights will be longer than the days.

Winter is coming, my friends, winter is coming

Zapper

Back at the start of July, I finally caved and bought one of the big bug-zappers, to see how it worked out in comparison to the other devices I’d purchased in previous years that proved to be far less successful.

And I have to say, I’ve been really pleased with it – it’s not 100% perfect, but that’s mainly because flies and bugs are stupid, and don’t just dive straight into the zapper.  However, it’s been a lot more successful in its body-count than any of the other devices.

Even better, it’s been pretty good (surprisingly so, in fact) on power – considering how much it’s been in use, I think it’s added a pound or two to the summer’s bill, but that’s it.

Really, the only downside for it is that it’s somewhat… explosive. The fly/moth bits can pop outside the case/grille of the zapper, so I’ve had to use the hoover a couple of times to just clean up the bits.   And sometimes the zapping itself is noisy – occasionially, the bugs get caught on the wires, and sit buzzing away for a surprisingly long period of time.  Even the usual zaps can sometimes be loud and sudden, if it’s been quiet for a while beforehand.

Regardless though, it’s been a good buy. I hope I won’t need it as much between now and next Spring, but we’ll see.

Kindling Discontent

Last weekend, while down in Devon, I lost my Kindle. Entirely my own fault, and primarily due to being a dickhead – but still, bloody annoying.

I ordered a replacement pretty much immediately, and hoped that Amazon had improved the method for restoring all the books I’ve got onto the device. It’s been a bloody awful experience the last couple of times, but the last time was three years ago. So, knowing how swiftly they release new stuff on AWS/Cloud, it’s got to have been worked on, surely?

Welllllll, yes and no.

The experience is a bit better – at least now it keeps a record of what books have been put into Collections (think of each Collection as a bookshelf) which sort of makes things easier. But not much – because you can’t actually select, for example, a set of Collections and say “Deliver these”.

Instead, it’s still horrifically manual, and dirt-slow. You have to go to the Amazon site, and then “Manage Content and Devices”. If you only have a few books, then great, that’s fine. I haven’t – I’ve got about 600.  So even selecting the maximum of 200 books at a time – which is sort-of easy, although still involves scrolling the page down until it’s got that full 200 listed, and then “select all” – then takes forever to actually push them to the Kindle.

With the Collections, once the books have been pushed to the Kindle, it should then put them into the right places – so that’s at least a small improvement. Last time, I had to re-add books to the Collections as well, which made the entire thing a massive pain in the arse.

The thing is, none of this should be difficult. So long as one does backups of the device (and the Sync process is actively encouraged by Amazon, so one can read a book on one device and then continue it on another) then it should be a simple matter of going “Copy the stuff from this backup onto that machine”, in the same way it does for my iPhones.

All told, even with the improvements, it’s a rotten first experience with a new device. It surprises me just how bad it actually is – the entire thing seems to be something that Amazon doesn’t expect to happen, or that’s only been tested with five or ten books. I wonder if it’s something Amazon will ever get round to fixing…

Slightly Clobbered

The last month here seems to have been a parade of minor health complaints, and it’s been more than a bit annoying.

This time last month I got stung by that poxy wasp, and that’s only just healed. Because it was right in the crook of my elbow, it kept on opening up with every movement of my arm, so it’s scarred up a bit more than I’m happy with. Still, there we go, that’s life.

The weekend after that, I was spectacularly unwell – and no-one needs the details of it, but it wasn’t fun.

Then over the start of September, while also doing the whole Meatopia thing, I’d picked up a summer cold. Again nothing epic, but it hit me hard during the week once Meatopia was over.

This week, I managed to slightly bugger up my back – again, nothing major, just the muscles around the lower back rather than the spine itself. Not that that stops it from hurting like a twat every time I stood up, of course!  It’s easing off again now, at the end of the week, which is at least some kind of positive.

Individually, nothing has been significant – but when it’s all combined, I’m just feeling a bit run-down. Let’s hope it gets better from here on.

Summer Cold

All through last week, I’ve been dealing with what appears to be a summer cold, and not a nice one.

No idea where or how I picked it up, but it’s been bloody unpleasant – almost verging on the feel of tonsilitis a couple of times.

It seems to be on the wane again now, thank god. It’s been a week of feeling like absolute rubbish (and also while doing a lot of the idiot walking for Meatopia and so on) so it’ll be good to be back to normal.