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

Saturday May 20 2006

It's my birthday tomorrow,

so I'll be out very late tonight. There is a pleasing symmetry to this.

Posted at 7:24 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday May 17 2006

Further to my travails with the British Gas people a few months ago,

which to recap concisely resulted in my being thrown on the tender mercies of a debt collection department simply for trying to pay the full amount I owed them and doing what they told me in order to do so, I have a new silliness to report. My attempts to pay my latest bill online have foundered. Thinking that the reason why my screen display seemed a bit incoherent might be related to my use of Firefox, I switched to the pathetic and often dangerous Internet Explorer for the purposes of scientific enquiry. Now I could see what they were getting at. They were saying that my latest "e-bill" was £139.51. And when I went to pay it, they maintained - regardless of which browser I used - that it was in fact £0.00.

I have paid the bloody paper bill that arrived this morning. It seemed easier. In this age of endless bleating about rising energy costs, one cannot help but wonder how high a proportion of the charges we pay is related to costs incurred by things like chasing customers who desperately want to pay but are prevented from so doing by not having an updated bill sent to them, or being unable to fathom why the online payment won't let them - er, pay. Would you send more than a hundred quid through a system that couldn't decide whether you owed that or nothing, and warned that you were about to overpay when you tried to conduct a transaction for the initially requested amount?

Clearly the dicks who run the system need upbraiding. But there's a clue, perhaps, in the less than full compatibility with Mozilla browsers on their site. They are complacent, disinterested and possibly not overly bright. Rather like the average user of Internet Explorer. Whatever. I guess I'll have to keep on killing trees until they get their act together.

Oh yes, and here's another stroke of genius. They have abolished the admittedly nugatory prompt payment discount. One can only assume that this is simply part of current policy to discourage payment. Why, after all, would these people have any interest in collecting our money? The size of the bills they're now sending out presumably means that if only half their customers ever make it through the elaborate trickery required to pay, the coffers are overflowing. You have to hand it to those Russian gas suppliers really. At least they have an aptitude for getting paid. Little point in trying to run a business if you haven't.

Posted at 5:28 pm by Jim Woods

Monday May 15 2006

Oh yeah - and check out the Dub Session Podcast.


Posted at 2:58 pm by Jim Woods

Did a pair of really enjoyable gigs on Friday and Saturday,

which has been great for morale. Also, while setting up on Friday received a phone call with offer to collaborate on yet more stuff. Great. The trouble, I find, with working in music is that most of the time one is not... I'm looking into getting a little 8-track recorder for home use so that I can start trying a bit of writing. I'm also renewing my passion for dub at the moment, and having thoughts about whether or not I can do some dub treatments of people's stuff. I think the trick will be to just launch into it and see what happens. I'd still like to get away for a bit too, but getting five straight days clear is proving a huge problem.

Art Weeks has begun. I need to hit the road!

I discovered, poking around in the BIOS of my desktop PC and pressing Ctrl-F1 for special secret advanced settings, an option called "Maximum Performance". Despite dire imprecations that this would not produce a happy result with some hardware, I selected it. The box is now quicker and more stable. Result! If you have an Award BIOS, give it a go.

The sun appears to have fled again. Bah.

Posted at 2:49 pm by Jim Woods

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