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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!

Friday March 24 2006

I'm doing well on my getting things done list.

I've managed to nearly sort out the transition between vehicles, finding somewhere to store my Scirocco while I find a buyer. I've got a resident's parking permit for my RAV. Adverts for the VW are on the web. A trip to Belgium and Holland is well-advanced in the planning stage. My insurance has been haggled down by £150 by simply trying a few different brokers. Did you know that the SAME POLICY with the SAME COMPANY can be £150 different in price depending on which broker sells it to you? And further, that they'll usually match one another if you are persistent? Nor did I. But I'm glad I found out, even if it was the hard way by spending three hours on the phone and creating a snowstorm of scribbled notes and quotes.

My antennae began to tie in knots as I passed Woolworth's in Thame the other day, so I was compelled to go in - like a spawning salmon - and find the cause of the disturbance. After close scrutiny of everything in the shop, and after nearly being derailed by the screening effect of the Batman 14" TV/DVD in front of it, I found the horcrux. "James Last Live in London 1978" on DVD. In the Mother's day section, no less. Ain't no mother getting this off me. Live in Tralee in 1984 as a bonus, and an interview too. I take my research seriously, you know.

Having the greatest difficulty finding a light summer jacket at the moment. All very large jackets seem designed either for body builders with huge shoulders and narrow waists, or for slobs with narrow, rounded shoulders and pot bellies. Being myself a broad-shouldered muscular type with a pot belly I feel badly under-represented. Clearly, I need to find somewhere that dresses chimps and get them to upscale something a bit. Or buy yet another fishing vest, I suppose. TK Maxx, by the way, has the odd Crumpler bag at half price. A thrilling discovery, since at least one of every Crumpler product is de rigueur for the luggage fetishist. Now I am sporting a great little orange Crumpler Aggott shoulder bag. And yes, thanks, I'm perfectly secure in my sexuality whatever it might ultimately turn out to be.

I need to get some exterior silicone sealant to keep the elements and the inside of my house apart, so it's a trip to Cowley centre for me now. Where they have a Woolworth's...

Posted at 9:23 am by Jim Woods

Wednesday March 22 2006

Got my new RAV4 yesterday.

First impressions are that it's very fun indeed. I am still ridiculously busy, though, so a bit of a hiatus here. Places to go, people to see...

Posted at 8:44 am by Jim Woods

Monday March 20 2006

The predicted has happened,

which is that British Gas have sent me a final demand and a letter of impending disconnection. I rang what turned out to be the debt collection service, and at least was able to talk to a woman I could understand. Her advice was to pay this bill now - the one I have repeatedly been told to ignore - and "let them chase me for the rest later". I promptly did so, since I certainly don't want all the hassle of being disconnected or having my credit rating wrecked. But really, what is the matter with these people? I don't mean, of course, the hapless and often incomprehensible souls who man the telephones. I mean whoever is responsible for consistently failing to register that I am waiting for an updated bill based on a meter reading which should have been given to them weeks ago by whoever-it-was-I-forget that does their meter changing. Somewhere, the lines of communication within the British Gas empire have failed. As might have been confidently predicted, the result is that their various departments can only effectively liaise when it comes to the matter of dumping all over me, the customer. Because they could not simply send me an updated bill, and because they have clearly been lying to me that they had "put a block" on the original estimated bill, I am now good and cross. They have put me in the position of being very inclined to switch suppliers, had I any faith that this would not result in some horrendous cock-up too and potential freezing to death-type scenarios. They have also, in a stroke of pure genius, done themselves - at least for the time being - out of about a hundred quid; this is the difference between the estimate they didn't, or did, depending on the wind direction, want me to pay and what I actually owe them. But then I'm one person with a calculator. How could they possibly compete with that?

Is it my imagination, or has customer service reached a new nadir? A friend of mine rang AOL to cancel his service recently. He reports that he was threatened and abused to an extent he'd never previously experienced from a "customer service" department. I hadn't the heart to tell him that, according to internet opinion, it's unlikely that they will stop taking the money in any case. Certainly not at the first time of asking.

There's more, but I lack the will to write it all up right now. Instead, I'm pulling up the metaphorical drawbridge and taking up the offer of a nice dinner in Thame.

Posted at 5:25 pm by Jim Woods

If you need a decent free CD burning program,

then I'm getting good results with burnatonce.

Posted at 1:41 am by Jim Woods

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