Life is beautiful

This morning, I walked across sun-drenched Lambeth Bridge with the Thames glinting below me, The Arctic Monkeys’ When The Sun Goes Down on my iPod, while smiling outwardly at the beauty and wonder of my wife and daughter. Life is beautiful.

Chambers Street: the heart of New York City

Rob highlighted the amusement in Google Maps of trying to get directions between America and Europe. (After a few directions stateside, it instructs the user to swim across the Atlantic.)

However, in replicating the steps, I noticed that Google Maps treats Chambers Street as the heart of New York City. That makes me happy, as that was our old address. The heart (apparently) is between Church and Broadway, while we were at the western end of the street. But still.

Virgin Media: Guaranteed Incompetence

I have spent the best part of two days on the phone with Virgin Media. For the record, it’s not affected my work, as the vast majority of the time has been spent with a phone wedged under my chin listening to inane hold music that’s a hangover from NTL days. (Doo-bee-do-bee-do-bee-do-bee-do-do.) I now even know the point at which the recording will stop and revert to the beginning.

In two days, I notched up 13 separate complaints, and spoke to an estimated 35 people. (The guy I spoke to last night confirmed the complaint number, but indicated that although Ofcom monitors that sort of thing, the customer doesn’t hear any more about them.) I questioned why Steve Birch, their Director of Customer Services had not called me directly, what with a single customer being so disgruntled, but I was told that he doesn’t speak to customers. No surprise given how pissed off they are, no doubt.

After unprecedented incompetence and a silo mentality like no other, we’ve finally got broadband and TV back, after close to a month without. My next campaign will be written, in an attempt to be reimbursed for having my IQ lowered through exposure to such high levels of incompetence, and for my inability to serve my blog-reading public to the level to which you’ve become accustomed.

I should be so lucky!

I was woken this morning at 3.30am by my lovely daughter. She was focused on being fed, her mouth making a crying noise indicating such, so I woke to calm her down and take her to the food.

I woke mid-dream, however. Or at least I think it was a dream. Kylie (Minogue) had taken me aside in the street (it was the corner of Godwin Street and Thornton Road in Bradford, just outside the Odeon cinema). She was telling me that she had too many friends, and having gone through her contacts in her mobile phone, she’d decided to sever links with me.

As you can imagine, I was devastated.

Crime’s against the apostrophe

We received a pre-printed gift card the other day bearing the message Its a girl. And I read a headline in a professional publication today bearing the word childrens’. Grammatical heathens.

My bag is more important than your arse

Today is my first day back at work since taking a little over two weeks off for paternity leave. (For the record, I’ve loved every minute of it. But that’s not the point of this post.)

People in the outside world are already pissing me off. I make my way to the top deck of the 87 bus, to find just one seat unoccupied by human buttocks (or butt-ocks, if you will). (I’ve just noticed that I’m using the present tense for enhanced story-telling. I think I’ll continue.) Instead, the window seat is occupied by a white plastic bag, sporting green typography. (I can’t make out the shop whence it came, but they have stores in notting hill, soho, stoke newington, all lower case by all accounts.) Beside the bag is a grumpy, dozing youngish woman who very reluctantly removes the bag on my asking. (In this case, the use of the present tense is apt, as she’s still sat there, much to my annoyance. My sincere apologies for interrupting her morning nap. The interruption didn’t last long, as she’s gone back to Monday morning snoozeville.)

Instead of shuffling across for me to take the aisle seat, she puts the bag on her lap,with an effort which seems to bely the weight of its contents, and swings her legs round allowing me to edge my way into the window seat. This I do, giving her a healthy nudge on her legs with my own bag en route.

Since when have people’s bags been more important than my arse?

Healthy heartbeat for little people?

The BBC’s recent article entitled dwarf stars emit powerful pulse had me confused when I saw it surfaced on its homepage. Only when I realised that it was in Science/Nature as opposed to the Entertainment section did its subject matter become clear

15 days’ joy, for free

My daughter was due to be born today. Instead, she arrived two weeks ago yesterday, giving us 15 days’ unbridled joy, for free.

She’s looking at me right now, as I type this post into my mobile phone keyboard. She’s staring at me with her beautiful big eyes, and I have now developed a connection with her that I cherish. I sit here on a Friday night, with a Nastro Azzurro on the changing table and a beautiful baby daughter in my arms, and I am truly happy.

Virgin Media: Guaranteed Happiness?

Is it fuck.

They seem perfectly happy to leave me waiting ten days without TV and internet. They were actually happy for me to wait 17 days, but after a two hour phonecall, I managed to pull that in a week. Their current slogan reads “Guaranteed Happiness”. I wonder what the service credits look like for their failure to meet this SLA.

Rob, please add this to your list of shit companies. I would have linked to your such post, but can’t, because I’m typing this on a mobile phone and (a) am not sure how without those pop-up dialogue boxes and (b) even if I did know how, it would probably be too much effort. Suffice to day it’s the “a blog about nothing” link over there to the right.

The silky ones

I was in Sainsbury’s the other day, wandering down the aisle that housed, among other things, feminine hygiene products.

A girl was perusing the options for panty-liners, when she turned to her boyfriend uttering “Oooh, what’s the silky ones?”, holding up a particular pack. I remember the phrase partly because of its grammatical inadequacy, but mainly because of the boyfriend’s doubtless lack of expertise in this area. We shared a WTF glance.

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