Monday, January 30, 2006

Song of the Day: G-Form - Jenny From the Block



Another one of those awesome cover versions that serves beautifully to take the wind out of a pompous fool. Enjoy!

G-Form - Jenny from the Block

Children grow and women producing
Men go working
Some go stealing
Everyone's got to make a living

L O X
J. Lo
We off the block this year
Went from a little to a lot this year
Everybody mad at the rocks that I wear
I know where I'm goin' and I know where I'm from
You hear LOX in your ear
Yea, we're at the airport out decline from the block
Where everybody air-forced-out
With a new white Tee, you fresh
Nothin' phony with us, make the money, get the mansion, bring the homies with us

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)
Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)

From In Living Color and movie scripts
To On the 6 to J. Lo to this headline clips
I stayed grounded as the amounts roll in
I'm real, I thought I told you
I really been on Oprah
That's just me
Nothin phony, don't hate on me
What you get is what you see

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)
Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)

I'm down to earth like this
Rockin this business
I've grown up so much
I'm in control and loving it
Rumors got me laughing, kid
Love my life and my public
Put God first
Then can't forget to stay real
To me it's like breathing

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)
Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)

It take hard work to cash checks
So don't be fooled by the rocks that I got, now assets
You get back what you put out
Even if you take the good route
Can't count the hood out
After a while, you know who to blink with
Just keep it real with the ones came in with
Best thing to do is stay low, LOX and J.Lo
Act like they don't, but they know

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)
Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)
Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)
Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)

Quick Quiz!

Name the TV programme.

Look On In Awe!


Take a look at that speed! And that wasn't a short peak; that was the speed all the way along, give or take a few KB.

And note, that's KB not Kb!

I know what you're thinking: it must be witchcraft of some sort. By some devilish trickery be mine eyes confuzzled. Well, you're wrong! ADSL2 rocks!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

No, I Believe You. Honestly I Do.


So, on Saturday afternoon someone took this picture of two planes flying extremely close to each other over Upton Park, West Ham's football ground.

Now, the Civil Aviation Authority would have us believe that these planes are not close to each other, but rather the photograph is misleading. As there is "no question that either aircraft had strayed from its proper path", these two planes are 2 and a half miles apart, apparently.

Isn't it good to have "experts" to correct us, when our obviously flawed human eyes mislead us so.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Sun's in My Heart and I'm Ready for Love

My broadband connection has been upgraded! I've have 768 upstream and about 17,000 downstream.

What's vaguely humourous is that it doesn't appear as though the top bods in the company actually contributed towards getting it working whatsoever. They gave me two possible connection days: this Monday just gone and this Monday coming. One of their plebby guys on the phone gave me today as the connection date. He was right, they weren't.

Anyway, joy of joys. I wonder if they'll start charging me for it now...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

UKOnline. Nearly There?

So, after giving me an activation date of this Wednesday, the General Manager emailed me and gave me another provisional activation date of yesterday, strangely.

But then yesterday came and he emailed me to tell me that it wasn't going to happen on that day, but that he'd handed me off to the "Senior Provisioning Manager, Provisioning". I got an email from her late yesterday afternoon and they've given me another activation date of next Monday (30th January).

Silliness.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wow, They Phoned!

Yep, this afternoon I've got an actual phone call from UKOnline. Who would have thought that such things were possible?

Anyway, they've given me ANOTHER activation date - next Wednesday. OK, that's not too impressive; it doesn't feel like them pulling out all the stops, but I'll accept that they're also at the mercy of BT's systems and will give them another chance.

For the moment, though, I'm going to forget about it all until next Wednesday, lest I dare to dream that this might actually happen.

At least if it all goes wrong, I have a dialogue going with the General Manager. That's a plus, mainly thanks to Des's "copy the whole world in on the email" advice.

Bugger!

Oh and if you hadn't picked up from Paul's comment in my last post, I forgot to remove all of the swearing. I actually left in:

"I couldn't speak to a supervisor because none of them are customer-facing. (fucking bollocky bollocks bullshit)"

I'm not sure that could have been a worse swear to have left in, really.

Also, I've put the email subject as "UKOnline Compliant" instead of "UKOnline Complaint". I bet I look like such a knob!

So what have we learned? Don't send emails of complaint at 1am in the morning.

Oh Lord the Clouds are Gathering

It's 1.15am on the morning of the 20th January, and I'm not a happy bunny.

My upgrade has not been activated, despite me phoning them earlier to check that it was going to go ahead and them telling me "of course!".

I've emailed the General Manager, Which magazine, BBC Watchdog, OFCom, the customer service dept of UKOnline, and have also copied in Paul, Bob and Graham, to make them look like Mr Burns' legal team from The Simpsons.

Oh, and the email is a pretty much exact copy of my last post, only without the swearing and with a few extra words to bring it up to date.

I really really hope I get a grovelling phone call tomorrow.

Friday, January 13, 2006

UKOnline - The Rage


OK, this is why I hate UKOnline...

(please note, all dates are approximate as I can't quite remember exactly when each step happened)

It all began back in November 2004 when I read this article about UKOnline offering an 8Mb service. I check their website and it said that they were rolling it out to my area in January 2005, so naturally I signed up on the spot, leaving BT Broadband for pastures faster.

Now, when January came I checked their website to see if their availability message had been updated, and it had: the service would now be available in February. That's a pain, I thought, but these things happen.

Then in February I check again and it had changed to March. In March it had changed to say that it would be available in "the Spring". In April it then said May, and in May it said June.

On several occasions over these months I emailed and phoned UKOnline to chase up what was going on, but to no avail.

Finally, late in June I checked the site and it now said that the service had indeed been rolled out to my area. Of course I was a little perturbed that, despite me having asked to be contacted when the 8meg service became available, I had to log on to their site to find out. But anyway, I clicked around on the site looking for an upgrade button, but didn't find one, so I rang customer services...

After a long long queue I got through to a person who told me that the 8meg service was not available to existing customers; only new joiners. They said that it would be made available to all at some point, but that the MARKETING DEPARMENT hadn't coded the script to enable upgrades. Why the hell would the Marketing Department handle that??? Also, you'll remember that I joined the service 7 months previous to this for the sole purpose of getting this service when it came out.

Aargh.

Anyway, I rang a few more times over the next couple of months, but to no avail. And in fact all of the customer service staff I spoke to were useless.

I then emailed them twice and received no reply, so I thought "sod it, I'm complaining" and I wrote out a long long email detailing the nature of my rage and sent it off to their customer services department.

I received no reply.

After three weeks I phoned them up to find out what was going on, and why they hadn't replied. The lady on the phone explained that they were not responding to any emails at that time due to the customer service team being extremely busy. (note - it's now January 2006 and I never received a response to my complaint - note how I say complaint, not a casual query, but an angry mistreated customer requiring a response.)

Anyhoo, time moved steadily on until we reached early November. By this time UKOnline had rolled out their 22Mb service and so I phoned again to see if I could upgrade to it. Again they told me that it was only available to new customers - despite this being five months on from them first telling me this!!! I told them that this was not good enough, because as far as I was concerned they could do it if they wanted to do it. They said they couldn't so I told them I wanted to leave. They provided me with a migration code which would enable me to move to another ISP and I took it, albeit unhappily.

Then I had an idea. Not a great idea as it turned out, but it seemed pretty inspired at the time. I went to their website and signed up as a new customer, inputting the migration code that they had given me. If their service is only available to new customers then sod it, I'll become a new customer!

I got all the appropriate emails through telling me that my service would be enabled within 10 working days. I also paid £80 for the necessary ADSL router, and this was delivered 48 hours later. "Oh joy!" I thought, until the 10 working days had passed and my service had not been enabled. I checked my status on their website and it said that my phone line was not compatible with their service and I should contact customer services. I phoned them up and merrily queued, listening to their recorded message saying that "if there is a problem with your order, we will contact you by telephone". I eventually got through to their order status team who were very confused by the fact that there was, in effect, two account on my one phone line. I explained what had happened and they said that they would sort it out.

A week later, nothing had changed, so I rang again. This time I expressed my frustration at them and they told me that they appreciated how frustrating this must be me. I told them to get it sorted, NOW, and they put me through to "Chris" in the "care team" who apologised for all the mess-ups and then told me that he would cancel my migration request as I could upgrade my ADSL service by clicking a button on the website....

PLEASE NOTE This function of upgrading my service had been enabled 3 fucking days after my conversation with the customer service representative in which we agreed that the only solution was for me to migrate to another ISP. 3 days!!!!

So "Chris" cancelled my migration order and I merrily wondered onto their website, found the appropriate button, clicked it and received the message, again, that my service would be upgraded within 10 working days. "Oh joy!" I thought. Please note - this was the 22nd of November.

Can you guess what happened next? OK, I'll tell you ... after 10 working days I had heard nothing from them, no emails, no phone calls, nothing. So I phoned them. I was told that my order was being progressed but that there was an issue as BT were confused about whether this was a migration or an upgrade. I explained the whole story to the person on the phone and asked them to let their engineers know, or to put me through to the engineers. Of course they couldn't do this, but they did email the engineers. I also asked that they get someone to phone me to let me know when to expect my service enabled. Obviously no one phoned me.

A week later, nothing. I rang again. They sent an email to the engineers again. I asked that they phone me to give me an update, again. They told me that I would get a call within 15 days at the absolute outside.

A week later, nothing. I rang again. They sent an email to the engineers again. I asked that they phone me to give me an update, again.

A week later, nothing. I rang again. They sent an email to the engineers again. I asked that they phone me to give me an update, again.

A week later, nothing. I rang again. They sent an email to the engineers again. I asked that they phone me to give me an update, again.

At this point I'm told that my account is on critical status, that this is a "good thing" and that it means that someone somewhere is working very hard on solving the issue.

Note: as far as I can see, the solution to this problem is for someone to ring BT and tell them that this is not a migration, this is an upgrade. End of problem. Unfortunately, the Order Status people who I keep talking to can't ring the engineers, they can't ring BT, they can't speak to the care team at UKOnline. They can just talk to me, give me an update, or email the engineers for the umpteenth time.

The following week I phone straight through to the care team. They're very apologetic and pledge to get this sorted. They then transfer me through to the Order Status team who try and fob me off again with the same old crap. At this point we're at Christmas so I leave it and decide to pick it up again in the new year.

The new year came and I rang the Order Status team again. The guy I spoke to, Barnaby, was quite helpful. He told me that he has more authority than most of the team there and so would work really hard to get this progressed. He also gave me his own email address so I could contact him directly for an update.

Another week passed and I hadn't heard anything. This was this Monday just gone: 9th January. I phoned up the Order Status team ready to kill whoever answered. The person who answered was called Bianca. I explained the entire story to her and said that I would not get off the phone until the situation was resolved. I told her I wanted to speak to a supervisor, and that if they couldn't sort it for me then I would speak to their manager, and then their manager, and then their manager, until I reached the person who was in charge of both the Order Status team and the engineers, so that they could sort this problem out for me. She told me that:

* My order status was critical, and was being progressed.
* I couldn't speak to a supervisor because none of them are customer-facing. (fucking bollocky bollocks bullshit)
* She understood my frustration.
* She would ask someone to phone me.
* She would email the engineers again.

I asked her if she'd been listening to me. I was not going to let her disappear off to do the same things that EVERY SINGLE OTHER CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE HAD DONE EVERY TIME I'D CALLED. Eventually she disappeared for a bit and came back having spoken to a supervisor (despite them all being in meetings, as she'd told me previously) and said that the supervisor would contact the engineers in her own name, so adding weight to my case, and that the supervisor herself would ring me back within 48 hours. "Oh joy!" I thought. I'm getting somewhere.

On Wednesday I was off work. I stayed at home and set up my new joyous PC. I waited for the phone to ring; it didn't.

On Thursday (yesterday) I rang them up again and spoke to Dipshit. He told me that he appreciated how frustrating this must be for me, and said he didn't know why no one had called me back, ever, not even once, in all my time with their company, despite me confirming with them that they have the correct number.

I asked to speak to Bianca again. He said she didn't work in that office. They, apparently, have two Order Status deparments, and when you ring you're randomly directed to one of them. This time I had been directed to the one where Bianca didn't work.

Again I refused to let this guy off the phone without a resolution. He really was an idiot; just as most of them had been. He didn't really listen to me; he didn't really care about my concerns. He did however read through my notes and discovered that the supervisor had progressed my order and that now I have an activation date of 19th January.

So, next Thursday I should have 22Mb broadband. Well 16Mb, due to my proximity to my local exchange. I only know this because I've phoned them, repeatedly. Not because they've let me know. I am absolutely burning up with rage against this company. It is, by far, the shittest, most incompetent company I have ever dealt with.

Absolute fucking shit.

The key issues, for me, are:

* They NEVER ring back when they say they will.
* NO ONE takes ownership for customer problems, and sees them through to resolution.
* No one you can speak to on the phone has any authority or ability to bypass their faulty processes.
* Anyone with authority is not "customer facing" so you can't speak to them to solve issues.
* They ignore complaints.
* They lie and fob you off if it makes their jobs easier.

Unfortunately, I'm still here with them because they're the only ISP to provide this service to my area, and I live in the hope that, once the service is enabled all will be well and I won't have to contact them again.

To a teeny tiny degree it helps that they haven't charged me any money for the last 3 months, so I've been using my 2Mb service free of charge through most of the really bad period with them.

Let's all sing songs of hope up to next Thursday. And hopefully, when next Thursday comes we'll all be singing songs of joy about my broadband service. In fact we'll all be singing a resounding chorus of "oh joy!"

Fuckers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Just a Quick One

Soooo... I've got my new super-amazing and exciting Media PC. I'll talk about that and provide pictures later on (I'm typing this on it!), but I just quickly wanted to share this picture with you.


Please click on it to get the full-size version. Just now I was browsing through the TV Guide that's part of my new PC, and had to take this screenshot for you all to view. Basically check out the truncated short description about what the Legends TV programme was about. I'm sure you'll agree that that's hysterical.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

It's On It's Way!!!


I got an email this morning to tell me that my machine is on its way. I should receive it by tomorrow evening. Yes, that's the same tomorrow that I'm not at work! Muchus joyous!

Mess not fools, or I'll set my 32" LCD display on you*!

* actual model shown is 30"

Monday, January 09, 2006

Mad Dog!

So, what's going on here then eh?

I captured this off You've Been Framed on Sunday. It's a mental dog who's getting very aggressive towards its own leg because it thinks it's trying to get his bone.

So, is the dog playing a game with itself? Or is it so entranced by the bone that it's ceased to process that the leg isn't his? Or is it just mental?

Dave's List of Words That Aren't Pronounced How They're Spelt

Menzies (as in Campbell)
Arkansas
Dalziel
Yacht (from Des)
Dufresne (from Shawshank Redemption)

I had another one 2 minutes ago, but I've forgotten it!

Hmmm, does Penelope count? Because it's awfully close to envelope.

Also I don't know if I can be bothered to include words with silent letters.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Death of a Loved One


My guitar has died.

I bought this guitar in 2003 for £600. It took me 10 years to find the guitar of my dreams; the one whom I could spend the rest of my life with, but today it passed away, violently.

I leaned it against the wall, as I had so many many times before, and it slipped so it fell sideways onto the carpet. Again, this is something that it actually does all the time. It usually lands with a bonk and I pick it up again, but this time I was perturbed by a large crack sound I heard as it landed, and when I turned to look I saw that its head was hanging off.

Needless to say I'm kind of heartbroken. I'm going to have to find some way of gathering together the money for a new one at some point. This could come from my bonus in March, but only serves to scupper (cool word) all the other plans I had for that money.

I suppose there's some kind of cosmic balance in the guitar passing away in the same week that Sapphire is born. Maybe I'll just have to strum her on my songs for a bit.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sapphire Karma Lucia Levi-Garvey

She had her first poo yesterday! So sad I couldn't be there.



Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm a Great-Uncle!



My niece gave birth to a wee baby girl at 4am this morning after what was, by all accounts, a pretty nasty labour. This means that I am now a Great-Uncle, and my sister is now a grandma at just 32 years old.

Please send cigars and bottles of whisky to the usual address.

Oh, and for you women out there, the baby weighed 7lb 1oz!

Update! - Baby name - Sapphire

And here's the first picture of the wee bonnie lass.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Less Than 3 Weeks to Go



Excited Dave is my name. There is a buzz of excitement and expectancy amongst the inhabitants of my head as we hit January and near the time when my new Media Centre PC is delivered.

In anticipation I've set myself up a wireless network which is currently connecting 2 PCs to the web; the Media Centre will make 3. I've also been making plans to get hold of a pair of surround speakers; I already have a pro-logic amp with a central speaker and 2 (well 4) main speakers.

Anyway, when you're as excited as I am, there's nothing more exciting than a PDF file to read through every day or so. Please note however that the specs of my machine will actually be higher than the ones in the PDF, especially the graphics card.

So anyway people, let's all sing songs of anticipation! I'll start and you all join in...