New Year – What now ?

9 01 2009

Well who’d a thunk it.. This is my 40th year.

I will be 40

Just thought I’d let that sit there on it’s own so I could look at it.

Thing is, I’m not really bothered. You see movies and TV where people go on about turning 40, but is it really that much of a landmark ? I think it depends on whose eyes you’re looking through. Now I’m looking through 40 year old eyes I don’t think it’s that old !

I found some funny stuff last night when I was tidying up, an old sixth form school report.. doesn’t make pleasant reading…

  • “far too presumptuous and arrogant”
  • “attitude to work is one of indifference”
  • “more serious effort is required”
  • “not learning his work in the depth that will be required”
  • “jeopardise his character and propects”

…should have jumped off then I guess.

Still it hasn’t really stopped me, funny old thing, life

People tell you all this good advice at an age when you’re incapable of absorbing and acting on it (at least I wasn’t), which is obviously the easy route, or you can learn it yourself. I’ve always chosen that route. Thing is, I now find myself doing the same thing to my offspring. Alas all my hard earned knowledge and battle scars are being ignored due to the impetuousness of youth. Fingers crossed for them, of course they could choose the easy route and take some free advice ?

So, what NY resolutions did you make ? I didn’t make any, at least not publicly.. I don’t smoke anymore so that’s not on my list. I do drink too much though, so I’m cutting down on that (notice I didn’t say stopping) and I’m going to make a concerted effort to lose weight by running more often. Stupidly, I’ve signed up for a half-marathon in March so I have something to aim for.. watch this space

The thing I like the most about January is planning holidays.. Options so far are..

  • Snowboarding in Canada
  • Motorbiking in Europe
  • Scapa Flow (again)
  • Red Sea liveaboard
  • Med diving in Italy
  • Cave diving in Dordogne

..not sure which ones of those I will do, hopefully all, but then I’d need 40 days holiday, which I don’t have.

Decisions, decisions

I am going cave diving next weekend though, I plan to take some photos and blog about it – remind me if I don’t..


Officially stupid – yes that’s me !

24 06 2008

I’ve been working in IT since 1990 which makes me..

  • almost middle-aged
  • cynical
  • continually surprised by the stupidity of the average web user..

..and many more no-doubt, but it is this last category of definition I want to talk about in this post..

As a warning I should tell you that this post is more of a therapeutic rant than anything else. I can’t find any other avenue of resolution for my frustration, so if you read on and are bored – you have been warned.

I pride myself on spotting the usual web scams, I have (of course) been amazed at the generosity of our west african citizens and their willingness to help my bank account swell to ecclestonian proportions or that apparently if I forward certain emails my entire hard drive will be wiped, my car will transform into a pumpkin and I will awake to an enforced sex-change operation.. Computers and the web continue to baffle the most logical and intelligent of people – something which provides opportunity for those people with less scruples than you or I..

Which brings me to my current frustration..

In retrospect, I guess, it’s never a good idea to buy things last minute or when under pressure but occasionally we all do it.

It was the night before my son’s birthday and I was still looking for that ‘something’ special (after all what do you buy the teenager who has it all ?) when I happened upon this site which prompted me along the following thought pattern..

  • hmm, cricket ? what a good idea – he likes cricket
  • England – NZ ODI – in Lords, sounds great
  • £145 per ticket !! jeez I’m getting old
  • I spose thats what you pay for an all-day seat at Lords..
  • ah, well it’s only once a year
  • click, type, pay, print, relax..

My son was OTM about going to Lords, so I mused, it was going to be money well spent. That is, until this morning, when the tickets dropped through the letter box.

To my horror the face value on the tickets was £65. I had been well and truly done up like a kipper.

I surfed in anger to find an avenue of retribution but it would appear there is none.

I spoke to Eileen at the Trading Standards, they were helpful and sympathetic but there is no recourse. The following is an extract from their website which pertains to ticket purchases..

“Price Indications (Resale of Tickets) Regulations 1994

These Regulations apply to persons acting in the course of business who re-sell tickets for entertainment events to consumers.

A consumer is entitled to expect that, when a re-seller states the price of a ticket, any information which was originally printed on the ticket by the event holder or promoter, such as the price of the ticket and location of seating, is also given. If the ticket does not contain specific details, the re-seller is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that as much accurate and relevant information as possible is given on things like location of seating and whether there is a restricted view.

These regulations are designed to allow consumers to make informed decisions about whether or not to buy the tickets.”

You can read it in it’s entirety here if you’re interested. Basically the vendor had complied by sending me the original ticket, there is no need to give prior warning of the 110% profit they may make on the tickets you purchase.. I did however, manage to persuade them to refer the case to the OFT on the grounds that a criminal act had taken place.

I won’t be holding my breath, but hopefully, somewhere down the line the robbing b*stards get what’s coming to them.

They say that retrospection gives the clarity required to navigate a dangerous course.. guess I should have read the map before setting off on this particular journey..


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