Monthly Archives: May 2010

I want me some roaming wiffy

Very quick entry as I’m doing this at 6am, before heading off oop north for work-related things.

I don’t like not having the internet. I don’t see why companies don’t have the internet spouting out of everything they run – especially trains. I know some have wifi available, and some (all) charge for it. Why can’t I have it for free? Actually, isn’t the Digital Economy thingy (is it still a bill now it’s passed?) trying to stop free, public access? Would that stretch to this fabled world where it’s free on a train? Still, Greyhound buses have wiffy, so I may just use them in future, if they ever start doing routes I want to use.

What I’m trying to say is: I need a dongle. I’m in too much of a rush to put an umlaut over the ‘o’ there, as Anna hilariously does (it is quite funny, I suppose). But these 3G things with the stupid name are all so annoying, rubbish or expensive. On one hand you have the fact that – apparently – connection levels for the likes of O2 and 3 are pathetic. Then there are those that don’t tie you down to an expensive contract, but do in fact tie you down to paying £5 every time you want to use the thing for a couple of days. I don’t want to do that. Then there are the ones that have decent coverage and offer reasonable prices, but you’re only allowed your own special slice of mobile internet for 30 days or so before they either demand more cash from you or just put your invisible space-information you had saved up in the bin.

It’s all so confusing. But I need to sort this out as I need me some internets on the go, so I can do things like this wherever I am and not have to weigh up the even more exorbitant charges from hotels and their ilk. Oh, also so I can ‘keep in touch’ ‘easier’ with ‘people’ like ‘the woman’, I suppose.

Aside from the ranty confusedness, does anyone have any doooooongle suggestions?

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I am afraid of the summer

Things are starting to get ominous. The air is warmer. I can smell it coming in to ruin my life for a few months. I’ve started sneezing a bit. My nose itches just a tiny amount, but enough to be noticeable. My eyes don’t yet feel anything, but they’re preparing themselves for when they do. But no matter how my body or mind is prepared for it, there’s never any way around it: Hayfever is coming to fuck me up again.

I can write this now as it’s before the diseeeease has taken hold of my frail body. If I tried to put these simple words together in a half-legible fashion a couple of months down the line it just wouldn’t be possible. The streaming nose would make me lose concentration, the streaming eyes wouldn’t let me focus and the streaming… well, just the streaming. And the itching. And the fucking itching. God I hate hayfever.

Now I don’t intend this to come across as one-upmanship, but my hayfever is particularly bad. It’s an allergy to grass pollen, which I’m sure many of you either have or know people who have. The obvious problem there being that summer is an outside time where everyone sits on various different types of grass, and if you say you don’t want to do this you are looked on as some kind of troll-like weirdo who needs to be shunned. Plus there’s the fact that park days are ace. But I’m sure many of you are aware of the irritating effect this has on hayfever sufferers.

Problem is, my body decides to take it a step further and completely dismantle my ability to function as a human being. I have sneezing fits that can last 10 minutes or more. My eyes go bright red and, well – I look a lot like this. It is completely debilitating, even with all the medication, treatments, showers and washed clothes I can think of. But the worst – oh! the worst – comes when someone decides to cut the grass near me. This, quite literally, nearly kills me. My throat tries to close up and my entire head puffs up into this weird ball of steaming red nonsense. It’s definitely when I’m at my sexiest. As well as being something to look forward to for Anna.

I’m looking into new/different treatments this year, as I’m tired of this ridiculous suffering. I mean, for fuck’s sake – it’s hayfever. It shouldn’t get in the way of the whole ‘being alive’ stuff I hear so much about. It’s not like it’s even a real illness (it’s a diseeeeease) or anything to compare to people with real medical worries. But it still completely fucks me up and I really am not looking forward to it coming to ruin a few months of my year. Again.

Plus it’s just bloody embarrassing. For all I laugh at the poor fools allergic to peanuts or cats, at least they’re not allergic to the fucking planet. Ho hum.

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Fear and haircuts in… well, not Las Vegas

I had a mophead, now I have lopped said mop. Or at least, had said mop lopped by a mop-lopping professional. I no longer opt for the mop lop to be carried out outside of a barber shop, in case the quality drop of the mop I’m left with makes me have a strop. You dig?

Strangely though, I have never enjoyed having to go for a haircut until very recently. As in, I haven’t liked doing it – and have actually been reasonably fearful of it – until the time before today, when I first went to the place on Wimborne Road of which I’ve forgotten the name. This is a man that understands when I say “short back and sides” he will just ask what grade I want, then ask “and shorter on top?” to which I will respond “yes”. It will then take 7-10 minutes – or less – to finish cutting my hair, I will pay my £8 and that will be it. That will be it.

My experience of haircuts goes like so: as a child we went to the barber my Dad took us to – Graham’s in Mexborough – and we would get ‘short back and sides’ as my dad instructed. This would be carried out the same every time. Then it got to the point where I had to take myself for haircuts, which I could never be bothered doing, so my hair got quite long – but when I did go, I’d go to Graham’s and he’d know what to do with it. Simple. I then started opting for friends cutting my hair, which lead to some hilarity and some times where Mike’s Dad thought we were gay because he was cutting my hair. Obviously only the gays cut hair.

Then came the dark times at uni, when I had no access to hair clippers and was lured in by £5 haircuts at a local trendy barbers (they showed The Simpsons all the time). I would ask for short back and sides, or I would show a picture of myself on my student ID where I looked half decent and would say “like that”. Every time I ended up looking like Lloyd Christmas. Every time.

Anyway, this is going on too long so I’ll cut it short now (HAHAHAHA): continued having my hair cut by friends/shaving it all off. Manchester had hairdressmen who got angry with me – actually angry – when I just said “short back and sides”. Bournemouth initially spooked me as barbers bring out cut-throat razors for the back of your head. I thought the Turkish barber wanted me dead, as I may have mentioned before. Now I am comfortable with the fat old man. Cutting my hair, that is.

All in all though, I’m glad I now don’t mind having to drop into the chop shop to have the top of my mop lopped. It means I look less like a mushroom head. I still don’t like hair though.

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WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA

I fell asleep for a bit, so this isn’t a thought about blog in the slightest, more just a collection of a few thoughts from the day. So… like a blog then, really. I’m almost getting the hang of this shit.

I see Google are/were celebrating Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary by putting a playable version of the game in the logo, or something. I say ‘or something’ as I haven’t actually bothered checking it. Because it’s Pac-Man. Which is 30 years old. And I’ve played it about eighteen billion times. Yet this slight novelty has been treated today as if it were the greatest advancement in human technology since some caveberk started making his beer in cans. Or something. Get over it – it’s novelty Pac-Man. It’s not worth telling the world about 43593298 times on fucking Twitter.

Anyway, following up on yesterday’s post I did indeed play football and – contrary to what I completely expected to happen – my ankle didn’t explode in a shower of pulped yams. In fact, I even managed to run for about three minutes (we played for two hours). Miraculous. However, this act of reasonable exercise – the first since last October – left me so knackered and headachey I had to go have a little sleepie for a bit. Ah, pathetic. Still, ankle: not explodey.

So Red Dead Redemption is out, is it? I wish people would stop asking if I’m getting it, or telling me about it, or just talking about it in general. While I can’t say I don’t care about it, as I do want to play it, I’m just not as enthused about it as everyone else in the world seems to be. Or ‘seems to have been told to be’. Ahem.

And finally, the news has claimed that BA needs to completely change if he is to survive. Poor old Baracus – he just loves helping local youth centres (and milk).

And second finally, Anna just linked this to me – one of my absolute favourite moments from Arrested Development. It makes me laugh like an absolute twat.

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The fine, noble art of customer reviews

I love customer reviews. No, wait – I hate them. Oh, I something them I’m sure, I just can’t decide what. Regardless of my feeling(s) towards them, though, there’s no denying the fact that they’re a bag of useless shite. Sure, it’s good to be sorting through a bunch of identical items on Amazon only to see that one of them has half a star more than the other four dozen, but if you were to check the reviews of the lower-scoring items (potato hammocks, or whatever it is you’re buying) you would see they were ranked lower because some schmuck bought one when they wanted something else, like a hamster detonator or something. This, in their tiny mind, therefore means the item in question deserves one star out of five. This has the knock-on effect of bringing the overall score down, if only slightly, and can then mean the difference between a purchase and non-purchase.

Yes folks, I do indeed work for the Potato Hammock Advisory Board.

I don’t actually know why this irks me so, but it really does. Reading reviews of things only to see someone going against the grain just because they think the brand is shit, or the one they bought was broken (even though they got a working replacement)… it just annoys me. I’d make some comment about being a professional reviewer, but that would be amazingly cunty so I won’t. Instead I’ll just blame it on the fact that I fucking hate idiots and – having worked in a couple of shops – know exactly what these pricks complaining look, sound and smell like.

“I bought this phone and I don’t want it.”

“When did you buy it?”

“February 10th.”

“Okay, it’s the 12th so you’ve had it less than a week, so I can refund you. Can I have your receipt please?”

*hands receipt over*

“Umm… this receipt is two days old, yes. Two days and a year old. You cannot return the phone.”

“Why not?! This is ridiculous! WAH WAH WAH ENTITLED WAH RIGHTS WAH!”

Balls, my example actually seems to have drawn from the ‘why working in a shop was shit (but amazing at the same time)’ pile. I do apologise. I’ll do a proper entry on that one day. For now though: Don’t give them the opportunity to have some kind of critical evaluation of any product ever. They are fools and deserve no such privilege.

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The Penman’s Creed

This is my pen. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My pen is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My pen, without me, is useless. Without my pen, I am useless. I must wield my pen true. I must write neater than my enemy who is trying to out-write me. I must write more interestingly and intelligently than he does. I will…

My pen and myself know that what counts in this war is not the paper we use, the noise of our nib scratching on the pad, nor the hand-ache we get. We know that it is the words that count. We will use many words…

My pen is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its pocket clip and its twisty top. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my pen clean, ready and full of ink. We will become part of each other. We will…

Before God, I swear this creed. My pen and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is Ian’s and there is no enemy, but peace!

(With apologies to Major General William H. Rupertus)

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