Saturday, December 23, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The End

It's the end of lots of things today...

My last day in NAG after 7 Years, 2 Months and 20 Days.
My last day of free broadband at work with none at home.
My last day of having no money (it's been an expensive month and payday + bonus can't come quickly enough tomorrow).
My last chance to "borrow" some stationary.
My last chance to get the best of the Krispy Kremes.
My last chance to post the bloody Christmas Cards.
You get the idea!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Time for a proper ramble

OK, so I have been too busy recently to ramble properly and random posts don't always please my audience!

So what has been keeping me busy?

Well I have caught up on some of my Sky+ backlog. I finished all the series of Spooks and am up to date with Torchwood.

Spooks is still my favourite thing on TV (well it isn't on any more, but you get my meaning) and Torchwood is a bit odd! I think I like it. It is a bit gruesome and I probably won't tire of the lesbian kisses for a while, but John Barrowman's lead character annoys the crap out of me! I hope we get some decent character based plotlines soon for him, as he is a bit too mysterious and gung-ho for my tastes - we need a few teasers to keep us going. The one teaser we got was something along the lines of "I need to talk to a certain Doctor I know about why I can't die". OK - great so we can hope for a cross-over with Doctor Who... except Russell T Davis (producer of both) has flatly denied that there will be any crossovers.

What else... Christmas shopping clearly! That is all done now. Although I need to get our Chrissie cards posted!

PC wise... I haven't had time to play NWN2 and haven't had an internet connection to play WoW on, so I actually have been trying Company of Heroes.

Hubert bought it for me for my birthday otherwise I would have ignored it. I gave up on RTS games after Red Alert but since this one fell into my lap for free I thought I would give it a go.

It's fun in small doses! The graphics are great and the mechanism of resource management works well enough that you can pretty much ignore it.

I have learned from my mistakes too. The computer cannot be beaten on more than 2 fronts at once (as the interface doesn't allow you to jump between your troops quickly enough to react to the enemy on 3 fronts). It is better to defend your key structures and then concentrate your attacks on one front at a time. Sure this takes much more time, but you take a hell of a lot fewer casualties. I suspect that as I progress through the game I won't have the luxury of taking my time, but for now the game has a fairly kind learning curve and doesn't punish you too much for ignorant mistakes!
Sure, I won't charge an MG emplacement again from the front! Stick one man in cover in front of it to draw fire and set the rest on flanking manoeuvers (remembering that grenades are your friends)!

Anyway I have some MI to create before lunch, so I'll write more later.

It's a date

Sky spaketh and the magic of broadband will be restored on 20th December. (Caveated with a "We are very busy so please allow an extra three days before calling our support line".) Since we are heading to York on the 21st I reckon our chances of testing the supposed 16 Meg service before Christmas are limited!

We also got their modded Netgear router and immediately changed all the default settings to something more appropriate! Imagine setting the SSID as SKYABCDE (ABCDE were 5 random numbers) - how uncooth! Also WEP encryption - this isn't the Dark Ages anymore!

I reckon I'll sell our £100 top of the range bit of kit. They still go for £75+ on EBay.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

3 months too late

Looks like Ofcom finally pulled their finger out!

Another Cold

I suppose it was pretty much guaranteed that I would catch Lauren's cold! No wonder she has been grumpy though - I haven't had a sore throat this bad for years!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I got a phonecall last night to see if I could do a telephone interview this morning for one of the jobs I have applied for.

Well I have had the interview and I feel like I have been wrung through a mangle! I am well out of practice!

Hopefully I haven't blown it at stage 1!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sky Technical Support

You may have read this post on my issues with Sky Customer Services.
Well to confirm some of the technical points I gave their Tech Support guys a ring.
The guy on the other end of the line was clueless.
He didn't know what a MAC address was, he didn't know that ADSL required a username and password... generally I have never talked to someone less capable on a technical helpdesk.

Only this could be worse (20 minutes of pain).

Sky Thickos

Got a letter from Sky today saying they had cancelled our Broadband order due to incompatibilities with the line...Turned out that their computer doesn't check with BT's live line checker, but a weekly archived version. Hence the archive was out of date for our line. I was rather unpolite to the Customer Services gentleman who told me that!

Anyway, I have kicked off the order process AGAIN. We should be up and running the weekend before Christmas! Unfortunately we'll be in York by then!

One little gem that isn't detailed anywhere in their technical info is that you MUST, MUST, MUST use their modem/router. The routers are hardwired with the ADSL username and password and the service is locked to the internal MAC address of the modem. Whilst I can simulate the latter on my £120 Netgear router, Sky won't give me the username and password to put into it and the "POS" they give away for free has been firmware modded to hide the logon details. This means I have an expensive, high speed and ergonimically friendly on the eyes piece of hardware which I cannot use (even as a backup).

I am rather annoyed with Sky at the moment, so I think I will stop phoning them until I calm down!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Competition

I had to laugh... One of my "agents" has found me a possible role at one of MLC's direct competitors here in London. Fingers crossed! (Easier commute too.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Very Local

I just found a job ad for a really good company who are approx 2 miles from our house.
It's even on a direct bus route AND has decent shopping on their doorstep.
I have applied sharpish!
Fingers crossed!

Waiting Game

Yesterday I got home with Lauren to find our alarm was a bit "upset".After entering the over-ride code it told me that there was a telephone line fault.

I checked and the phone was working fine, so the data component of the line was being tinkered with. Great I thought - BT are removing the broadband "tag" from the line. I guessed right.

Half an hour later the alarm decided that the line was OK again, so I phoned up Sky and was finally able to order a replacement broadband package.

All we have now is a 1-2 week wait for BT to tinker with the line again to get us reconnected!


I realised something on friday (and then forgot to blog about it)...

The night out last thursday was enhanced by the Scottish law prohibitting smoking in public places.

I got back to the hotel and I didn't stink of fags, my room didn't stink of fags the next morning and my mouth didn't feel like I had been chain smoking (passively).

Roll on the English ban next August!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Getting Cynical Again

Following on from previous posts about pregnant women on the tube, I thought I would give you an insight into my mind from this morning.

No real problems on the tube but the first train that pulled in was busy and the next train was just behind it so I waited. The next train was as good as empty.

In choosing a seat I would generally pick the one that makes it easiest for me to get off the train at St Paul's. After sitting down I suddenly though... hang on, I sat here the other day and ended up giving up my seat to a pregnant woman as it is near the entrance. So I shifted to a seat in the middle of the carriage where it would be tough to get off, but there was no chance of having to give up my seat!!!!

In the end a woman fainted at Chancery Lane and I was in no position to be expected to give up my seat as I was wedged in the middle of the carriage.

The level of cynicism that is creeping into me is scary!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Deal or No Deal yourself!

Buy the expensive DVD game version
Play online for free with no Noel Edmonds!!!!

Daddy Cool

They say a picture speaks a thousand words....

Enough said then!

Daddy Cool (small)