Life, The Universe and Small Things all covered in one friendly blog.
Remember DON'T PANIC! .

30 January, 2008

British Gas Homecare

No they don't!
No really, British Gas don't actually give two hoots about their customers and here is why:-

In early November 2007 my central heating decided that in line with the current fashion it too would take up the drums. It started just on the snare drum but soon progressed to a full kit with a lovely bass drum thumping along.
Having been a member of a band I know what its like with these drummers, they don't stop until they are made to so I picked up the phone and called British Gas; I foolishly have a Homecare agreement with them.
They booked an engineer in for a couple of days later. On the day of the engineer visit they called and said sorry we can't get the engineer to you and re-booked for the following day.

The next day I got a call, "Sorry the engineer can't get to you this morning can we make it the afternoon?" "Ok" I agreed. Two minutes later the phone went "Hi it's the British Gas Engineer Ill be with you in 20 minutes" "Um, good , but your office just told me you can't make it" Oh well.
The Engineer arrived and tried to fix the boiler, he added some chemical and said it might work otherwise they would have to fit a new part.
The boiler took up the bagpipes as well as the drums and started wheezing and groaning as well as drumming.

A month later I called British Gas Homecare. I asked them to send me the engineer with the new part. (What I really needed was a Band Master familiar with unruly pipe and drum bands.) They booked a time.
They phoned on the day and cancelled and re-booked. The engineer came. "Have you got the new part?" " No" "Why not" "I spoke to the other engineer he told me what the problem is" The engineer checked the system again. "Yes it needs a new part"
Well as is everything in life that we "insure" the new part is not covered by my agreement but at least the fitting is so it saves on labour costs. I signed the form in early December.
In January I got a letter, "Sorry we are really busy we will "upgrade" your heating when we have an engineer in the area".
I phoned them, It's not an upgrade! I explained how the pipe and drum core are driving me mad and as I pay for a service when they feel like it is not really on. They sent me another copy of the same letter.
I phoned them "Please can I speak with the woman in Customer Service who sent me the 2 letters?" "No sorry but we can email them" .

I waited, I phoned , I asked to speak the Customer Service, I could not this time because it was after 5pm.

I phoned the next morning, I asked to speak to Customer Service, "You can't but I can email them" "No I want to speak to them" "Hold on please" "I'm sorry I have just spoken to them and they are refusing to speak to you, I can't believe this either, Ill give you the address to write to and complain".
I got a call yesterday, from British Gas to tell me that they can't come and fix my boiler until at least March. I told the woman she must be joking, she agreed that it was bad and she arranged to have someone call me before 9am today. It is now 10am.
Oh well come on boiler, a little more on the bass drum, bring up the pipes, lets try Hyland Cathedral this time, I like that one.

24 January, 2008

A quick course in Labour Maths.

We have a strange situation in the UK at the moment we have two Chancellors and no prime minister. Never before have we had this situation where the person in No. 10 Downing Street thinks he is the Chancellor and so does the man at No. 11. The most amazing thing is that even with two they still have no idea about mathematics.

Inflation is, according to one of them or is it both, 2.4%. But hang on how is this calculated.
Food and petrol up over 5%, gas and electricity 15%, now council tax 4% even plants in the garden centre are going up. I have tried to work out how the calculation has been done.
Here is what has probably been used.

5% for food divide by 12 months equals .41% plus 15% for gas and electricity divide by 12 equals 1.25% then add the council tax increase of 4% divide by 12 equals .33% so far we have 1.99% inflation divide that by 2 chancellors and we actually have inflation at only 0.995%. Now 2.4 times .995 is 2.4% so there we are inflation is 2.4% just like they tell us! Isn' it ?

Hold on I hear you shout you can't divide the annual percentage increase by 12 because then its not the annual increase and besides none of you calculations make sense.
I know that, but then I am not the one believing the two chancellors.

20 January, 2008

Madeleine McCann - Oh Please no more!

I am bound to upset a few people here but as it's my blog I am allowed to.
Unable to contain myself any longer I have to say a few more words about Madeleine McCann.

Because her parents were irresponsible, bad parents she went missing last year and since then some papers can not stop bombarding their readers with total tosh. Today we have a new FBI accredited artist impression of the person who probably does not exist but who we are supposed to believe was somehow involved in the disappearance. Now call me cynical but artist impressions are seldom any use when made within hours of an offence, one made months after is about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.

Not only is the picture a waste of paper it is totally useless to print it on millions of news papers. The law of averages says that someone somewhere will look like any picture you draw, if you look long enough you will probably find all the people from a L.S. Lowry painting.

Every day there is more tosh about the latest development, every day is another news paper article of no use and increasingly less interest to most people on the planet.

Yes something bad happened to her, but now it is time to move on and report news in the papers.

Joy of joys we look forward to the 1st anniversary of her disappearance when the papers can have pages and pages of worthless tosh again.

The truth is that the picture in the paper today is not of anyone, and especially not of the person who took Madeleline McCann.

17 January, 2008

Government to control the Internet.

Another of our wonderful leaders the "I'm completely out of touch with reality" Jacqui Smith Home Secretary has done what Labour do best, she has announced something.
You, like me, will have noticed that since taking over, Mr Bean, sorry Brown, and his party have spent a lot of time announcing things and doing very little.
Most of their announcements have been for things that are already, and some are for things that will never be other than in the minds of the deranged.
But today I warn you Smith has announced the start of Internet censorship of the kind that we decry in places like China.
She has said that she will be working to shut down Internet sites that are used to groom vulnerable people to become violent extremists. That sounds a good thing but lets just take things to the next step. We, the people, will not be the ones to decide which sites are going to "groom" people we will just be told that its for the good of the country and national security. For example there maybe a web site that says there is a Conservative candidate who you could vote for. Smith decides that this site could cause people to vote conservative so says "this is a dangerous site shut it down". No one ever knows what the site was, it was shut down to protect us wasn't it, how dare we question the leaders who are protecting us from terror.
You see where this is going, it is only a short step from the government removing extremist sites to them taking complete control over every ISP and dictating what we see.
Tell me I am wrong, but hopefully this site will still be here in 10 years time, and it will be my turn to say I told you so. Although I won't be allowed to because by then opinions will also be banned.
1984 ?

15 January, 2008

New Tax to replace PAYE

A new tax is to be introduced by Minister Peter Hain to replace PAYE, it will be known as PIYR or Pay if You Remember.
This new tax will mean that you can keep any earning you make without the need to pay tax unless you remember. It will also pave the way to a new style of shopping where you can leave stores paying for only the good you remember and will not face prosecution for the 6 bottles of champagne you forgot were in the bottom of the trolley.

As usual with the Labour government there is a drawback to the new tax, it will only come into force if Peter Hain remembers to announce it.

10 January, 2008

New Nuclear Power Stations

Today our dictator, sorry prime minister, Mr Brown has decided that there will be a series of new nuclear power stations built in the UK and that these will be built by private industry. Excellent!
Not happy that our airports are owned by the Spanish, our water by the Germans we are now going to let the French not only own but build our nuclear power stations.
It will cost many millions of pounds to build each of these power stations and as the companies are not going to build them out of their love for England they will want to make as big a profit as they can. This will surely mean that they will want to build them as cheaply as possible. I am getting scared already. We are going to have another country build nuclear power stations for as little as possible to make as much profit as possible on our land and trust that they get it right.

I can hear the conversation now between EDF and the contractors:-

EDF- "Ello Ello yes, we are building a nuclear power station in Bradwell, yes the UK, Yes we want some radiation shielding, well yes they say we should have reinforced concrete and 300mm of lead, yes , so that will cost how much"

Polish contractor - "Lead isn't cheap, are you sure you want that much"

EDF - "Well no, its in the UK we don't want to spend too much, maybe we could go down to 150mm"

Polish contractor- "Its still going to cost you"

EDF " Oh, well this is going to eat into our profits Ill get back to you "

Later the same day:-

EDF "Ello Ello, yes we have made a decision on that radiation shielding, Tin foil, yes that's right tin foil. The prevailing wind blows away from France so we have decided that we can save many millions if we leave out the lead"

01 January, 2008

Mobility Scooters. AKA Spaz Mobiles

Well we made it through another year without destroying the planet and here we are in 2008 so to those of you who worry about these things, Happy New Year, but also see my blog on Merry Christmas.

Still we made it and so I can continue to woffle about Life, The Universe and Small Things that annoy, amuse or otherwise come to my notice.
To start the year the way I mean to go on let me be totally un-politically-correct.
SPAZ MOBILES, I don't care what you think thats what I call them and although everyone says to me "you can't call them that" I do and I can.
I was in Boots, the Chemist, about a week ago and there was the classic example of why spaz mobiles should be banned. There we were, I and the rest of North Essex, trying to shop and all of a sudden chaos. Old git on his spaz going one way up the narrow isle and obese blob(because she can't be asked to walk) in another coming the other way. To add to the fun there was a woman with a double child buggy trying to get past too.
No No No. get out of the shop! If I turned up on my bicycle would they let me in on it, I think not, so why have we allowed more and more of these ankle busting spaz mobiles to clutter up every pavement, High Street and now shop.
I had to dive for cover the other week when walking into the local store and a doddery old git in his spaz came flying out at about 6mph intent on snapping the ankles or legs of anyone who got in his way. And blow me if there was not another one almost as wide as the isles in the store causing chaos.
It doesn't end there. Where I live we have scurge of spaz mobiles and they think they are cars, they block the road at 8mph driven by people way to old and blind to be on a highway, no tax, no test, no insurance and no reason to be there.
Its time to retake the streets, next time a spaz comes hurtling towards you trying to break your leg as you walk on the pavement, or blocks the isle in a shop, drop a handful of tin tacks as you walk by - just a thought.