Sunday, 13 April 2008

Another lost weekend

My weekend didn't actually start until about midday Saturday as I went straight out for a few drinks on Friday and crashed over. When I got in, I had a few menial chores to do (ie washing, etc) and decided to try and sort out my broadband again as my dial up connection was playing up--what a nightmare THAT was...


First up, I had a hell of a time with BT before when they pushed me into accepting broadband when it wasn't actually ready in my area. Cue numerous phone calls when the inevitable problems arrived (ie 7 hours on the phone one day!) and months of billing problems...even though I wanted broadband and wanted BT as I don't trust any alternative suppliers much, this put me off dealing with them. However, broadband would radically reduce my time online so it's time to jump back in but already it doesn't look good...


I ordered my package on 27th March and was told I'd have a confirmation within 48 hours...2 weeks later still nothing so I phoned them up and had to reorder it but was told there's a one-off charge of £30 for the hub. I said "Hang on, it was free when I ordered this, YOU lost the order so I shouldn't be charged for this" but the drone wouldn't have it. He then gave me a new e-mail address and I said "I only want BT as I was told I can keep my current e-mail address" and was told I can still keep it but have a new one too. I can see this causing trouble.


When it came to setting up the direct debit, I got pushed from pillar to post and was put through to someone and had to admit "Look, I don't know why I was put through to you. I was talking to an African guy and I didn't understand a word he was saying--I had to ask him to repeat himself FOUR times at one point". I think BT should be sued under the trade descriptions act as none of the people I spoke to there were British. I don't care what nationality people are but over the phone, you need clear communication skills as you can't make yourself understood as easily as in person. I think for a nationally branded communications company to employ primarily foreign staff with poor communication skills is to shoot themselves in the foot: they look unprofessional for ANY call centre (notice how many companies now advertise the fact that they have UK-based call centres?), let alone a communications company!


Anyway, job sorted (with added problems to follow, I'm sure), I managed to get in a quick headshot to ease me back in to drawing (coloured today and pictured below) before Dr Who started. I hate historical episodes so this was better than expected but I still can't see why they bothered with two days of filming in Rome when it all looks like a set anyway. Something in this episode reminded me of the end of the last series and I wonder if this series will lead to the return of the Rani---never having seen any episode with her in it, all I know is she's another rogue Time Lord ( I think) but a female one.


Managed to get in a few comics before the start of Pushing Daisies, which I enjoyed but am curious to see how it fares on a mainstream traditionally dumbwit channel. The show isn't very demanding but is light, entertaining and quirky, and Anna Friel (always attractive but never spectacularly so) was simply radiant and adds so much charm to the show. I got a desperate Housewives kind of ambiance from the show, due it's quirky nature and narrated storyline (narrated by Jim-I'm every bloody where,me-Robinson off Neighbours). I'll watch future episodes but don't know how avidly I'll follow it. I was looking forward to Reaper and kind of liked it but it was already becoming a chore to have to remember to watch.


After Daisies, somebody (for unknown reasons) lent me a pirate copy of 10000BC. I didn't want to see it anyway but gave up after five minutes of grainy footage that distracted me so much that I lost what was happening after about five lines of narration (seriously!). Something about prophecy and that's always a bad sign...no play on words intended.


I also started reading The Black Dossier, which has been sitting on my shelf for months waiting for me to find enough time to dive in to it. I'm still only a quarter of the way in and it's taken me ages so it's at least bang for your buck! Already the gags are funny, especially the tube mp with stops like Colouring Inn, Arson Elbow and Tooting Bottom. This book firmly establishes the League in an alternate earth (something hinted at before but never really clarified) and has already taken in Tarzan, John Carter, James Bond, Danger Man and the Prisoner, Jerry Cornelius, 1984, Giles, Conan, Elric, the Tempest, Last of the Mohicans and numerous other sources that I've recognised, let alone ones that I don't! Definitely worth a few hours of anyone's attention (though it is more lewd and foulmouthed than the first two stories)

5 comments:

Rol said...

Yay, Shatner!

I forgot to video Pushing Daisies, but Anna Friel puts me off anyway. I was a big fan of Dead Like Me though... but the fact this ended up on ITV is another nail in its coffin. I might try the DVDs later.

Believe me, I wish I'd given up on 10,000 BC after 5 minutes!

Tone said...

Pushing Daisies is repeated on ITV2 tonight methinks. I'm with Nige, it shouldn't be any good but it is, and Anna Friel's surprisingly lovely in it.

Started reading The Black Dossier a few months ago and put it down again for now, as blimey is it dense. But like you say, amusing filthy.

Tone said...

By the way, it's narrated by Jim Dale of Cary On fame, not Alan Dale of Jim Robinson fame. Easy to get those two mixed up.

davey said...

Nige, we use Virgin for our broadband and had it done within 18hours and although we could get Sky broadband and tv for a quid less a month I reckon its worth the 17 sheets we pay as all 4 of us it without any problems

Nige Lowrey said...

I complained to BT this morning and they responded to say that they will now not be charging me for the hub, hoorah! Although, they didn't respond to my comments about how unprofessional it is for a leading communications company to hire a glossolalic to man the phones...


Jim Dale, Alan Dale,Digby, Bouncer, much of a muchness :)Mind you, at one point I thought I was listening to David Warner but knew it didn't sound right...

Yeah, Black Dossier is ahuge read so well worth the cash. I'm quite enjoying it and hope to clear it tonight but have the Jack Kerouac stuff to read, a section I'm not looking forward to. Jeeves & Wooster versus Lovecraftian demons was amusing and there's enough in there to make me want to pick up the annoted guide (although the completist in me would then be tempted by the first two books of annototions, something I could do without). I could just Wikipedia things! One of the best things I've read for ages, even if there's not much of a plot. I like the clever mashing of Bond, the Avengers and Danger Man/The Prisoner.

Pushing Daisies is also repeated on ITV1 on Sunday afternoons, although I dunno if they'd show that bloke with the eaten off face at that time!