Friday, 29 December 2006

I know movie piracy is wrong, but...

I'm tempted to start doing it. Instead of buying DVDs.

Why?! I hear you cry.

Simple. Every freaking DVD which I have BOUGHT with my HARD-EARNED money recently has INSISTED on boring me with the fact that movie piracy is theft. They show me "adverts" about it. They repeat copyright warnings in 786 languages, 782 of which I don't even remotely understand.

Even worse - I can't skip these sections easily - I have to fumble around with the fast-forward button. Anything else and the section repeats. Some of them are rather long.

I accept that they want to tell people that piracy is wrong. I accept that they are so frustrated with the issue that they are keen to ram it forceably down peoples throats. However. Think on this.

If I download a ripped, DVD quality version of the same movie - not only is it (nearly) free, but, I won't have to put up with the advert! Therefore, by trying to put me off nicking films, I'm given a clear advantage to doing so!

Tip: If you want to point out to people that copying films is wrong, it's probably a bit frigging dumb to point it out to PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY LEGALLY PURCHASED A COPY OF THE DAMNED FILM! Especially in such an annoying way!

Thursday, 21 December 2006

A world gone mad!

Truly. A world gone mad.

Amongst tonights purchases from Asda (affectionately known as "The Hell Hole"), were some fresh custard and some peanuts.

I am so glad that these items warned me of their nefarious, hazardous contents.

"Warning: Contains Milk" - on the custard. Well. F*** Me. Custard. Made with MILK. Personally I prefer to use crushed beetles and left over pieces of brick.

You can guess what was written on the peanuts. I can only conclude from my continued survival that I indeed do NOT have a nut allergy.

Good Grief.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Bring back Celebrity Deathmatch!

Oh. Joy.

My goggle-box has just reliably informed me that season 7008 of "Celebrity Big Brother" will be starting in January. Excellent. That take Channel 4 and E4 out of the viewing options for a few weeks, then.

My my. But I'd just LOVE to watch a set of z-list celebrities proving that they're a bunch of twats (just like most Big Brother contestants). And I'm desperate to watch them sleeping - semi-live.

Bring back Celebrity Deathmatch - only this time - don't stop at animation!

Or perhaps we should go the whole hog. Yes folks - your votes really do count - we've got a big cannon and two rubbish celebrities - vote for your favourite OR WE'LL LAUNCH THEM INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN!!

The road to hell..

I shall not bore you with all of the gory details relating to tonights brief trip through hell, err, I mean Asda. Instead, I'll point out the chief annoyances, and also a tiny anecdote which suggests that we are indeed deemed to become a nation of idiots. Soon.

I paid the wrong price for a Sweet Potato in Asda tonight. Because after a couple of minutes examining "The big book of fruit and veg", the woman on the check-out decided it reminded her most of a parsnip, and opted to put it through asuch. Perhaps she didn't notice that it's a completely different colour and shape.

Other things which wind me up about supermarkets in general (and Asda in particular) include:

People trying to pay with string (you know what I mean - "Oh, wait a moment, I know that I have £17.56 in pennies somewhere on my person, and there are only three thousand people in the queue behind me - I'll just search all of my body cavities to find the exact change..").

Automated check-outs. These would be great IF inbetween every single item being scanned they didn't blurt out "Please ask for assistance." or the dreaded "Unexpected item in bagging area".

Combine that with the fact that old men seem to think the way to make the queue move faster is to repeatedly nudge the person in front in the legs with their basket, and you've got a thoroughly grumpy shopping trip in store. One day someone is going to end up having a lurid green plastic shopping basket surgically removed from somewhere painful..

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Hurrah! Amtrak have delivered.

Finally. Only two weeks late, Amtrak have delivered our package.

In the end I had to get the "delivery guy" to phone me on my mobile so that I could come outside and find him. So much for the notion that he might know where he was supposed to deliver things to.

In addition, it appears that a large mammoth has played football with the package in question. Yay.

We shall find out later if it's going back or not..

Maybe I took the wrong driving test..

I really do wonder if I may have inadvertantly taken the wrong driving test. Perhaps there is another one which I should have taken. You know. The one where they make sure that you undertake, abuse double yellow lines and generally behave like a first class nobber.

Today's shout-out for ridiculously bad driving goes to:

The Audi A6 whose driver didn't seem to comprehend that simply driving at my rear right quarter as fast as possible while we were going through a junction would not mean him getting in front of me. It did nearly involve him ending up in my back seat, but that would have, quite frankly, served him right.

The painted-up-to-the-nines Subaru Impreza whose owner decided he didn't like the traffic on his way to work (he actually ended up parking just in-front of me at the same building). He solved this by using the other (oncoming) side of the road for a good 300-400 yards. Not a bit of it. Not half of it. All of it.

The two utter twats who "parked" their delivery lorries (fully) in the left hand lane of a two-lane road. Ignoring the double yellow lines, because they needed to drop off some dog food or something to a corner shop.

And last, but not least, the 14 year old mum whose technique of crossing roads is slightly different to "stop, look, listen". Like so many other loving mothers, she relies on the "Thrust pram into road. Wait for screeching sound of brakes to stop. Cross road as slowly as possible."

We should overthrow the government and organize a cull. You know it makes sense.

Monday, 11 December 2006


Go and buy a Wii.


Thats all I'm saying!

The Past, err, Post, Office

I've just been to the Post Office to collect my Wii. Before I continue, let me just say again that I really like the Royal Mail, and I think they do a really good job.

The Post Office though, don't.

I queued for half an hour, depsite there only being twelve people in front of me, and (theoretically) five people serving at the counter. I say theoretically, because four of them were talking about Eastenders or some such thing, for the entire time that I was waiting. Good Grief!

When I finally got my package, I watched the woman carefully (!) retrieve it from under a crumpled heap of other stuff on the floor, and then slam it down on the desk. Joy.

If it doesn't work when I open it tonight, I'm going to go Postal (ha ha).

Is driving really that hard?

Oh well. I made it to about 8:20ish without being irritated by something enough to write it down.

On my way to work is a 3-way traffic lighted junction. In my direction of travel, there are two lanes - the left one for "straight ahead" and the right one for "turn right only". They are clearly marked.

Straight over (the way I go), the road opens out into two more lanes, both of which go ahead (and merge) at the next junction.

Imagine my surprise (perhaps "fury" is a better word than surprise) when I moved to overtake a cyclist just after the first junction, having gone straight ahead, and discovered a car overtaking me (having ignored the various "turn right only" signs) at about 40-50 mph. In a 30 mph zone. Through a speed camera. Nobber.

Bad enough, but then, as I moved over into the right hand lane to get around the cyclist, and through the next set of traffic lights, I checked my mirror to move left, and noticed another, different car, doing more or less the same thing, just a little bit slower, and this time undertaking me. Nobber.

Ironically one of these nobbers was a woman, and the other a man - therefore I can happily say that today (at least), the sexes are equally crap at driving.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Movie Night

Watched two movies tonight.

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown - superb. Truly funny.

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - I was enjoying it. Until I realised there was no end. Now I'm pissed off.

It's OK to make a sequel to a good film (as long as you don't murder it). But don't just blatently make a two-part film! I want my money and the three hours of my life back, damnit.

Saturday, 9 December 2006

At Asda, It's Christmas time

The daily visit to Asda was a joy as usual. In addition to the christmas music echoing overhead (it's only the 9th of December for gods sake), the place was rammed, and some genius had opted to close four of the remaining checkouts.

I say remaining, because at least two have already been replaced by automated "fast lane" checkouts, which take at least three times as long to use - primarily because they spend most of their time screeching "Unexpected item in bagging area" at you.

Couple that with the usual plethora of idiots who either park their length-ways in the middle of busy aisles, stop suddenly in front of you, or decide to stand in the middle of the aisle as if stunned, and yay. Thoroughly enraging.

A Grammy in the family?

I've just found out that my half-brother has been nominated for a music Grammy.

Pretty amazing stuff. Thought I'd post that little fact here.

Still not much to complain about today, to be honest. I'm sure that will change.

Wii is on the way!

My wii has been posted. Good old Amazon. It's been sent by Parcelforce as well, so based on prior experience, I stand a decent chance of actually receiving it this year.

The Christmas cards have started to arrive - two today. It's one of the very few types greetings cards I don't object to (too much). Oh well. Time to get out the Christmas tree and stick a bit of string up for the cards.

I should probably go and do some Christmas shopping some time soon as well.

Double Yellow Lines

Yes. Double Yellow Lines. The capital letters are deserved. They are there for good reasons (well, most of them).

My drive to/from the office is frequently lengthened by wonderful individuals (either works vehicles, white van-esque types or mercs, bmws and the like), who seem to have 'selective blindness' when it comes to straight yellow markings on the road.

The temptation to ram them is growing on a daily basis. I should probably do something about that, really.

I don't CARE how BADLY you need a mars bar or 20 marlboro lights - park properly like the rest of us.

And for gods sake, if you're going to cycle, either behave like a car or a pedestrian - not some strange cross-breed. If you don't signal and someone hits you, it's going to hurt. I'll do my best to ensure that it's not me who ends up peeling you off his windscreen, but no guarantees!

The Nintendo Wii (and delivery companies)

Yes, I know I'm posting a lot. It's taken me ages to get around to doing this, so shush.

It's the 8th of December - Wii day. Mine hasn't arrived, but then, I didn't expect it to, as I was happy enough to get one on pre-order from Amazon at all. With a lot of luck, it'll arrive tomorrow. If it's not here on Monday, I shall continue my ongoing war with all delivery companies.

I live in a new block of flats, and the mail boxes are frequently vandalised - the Royal Mail, for all their various failings, cope with this admirably, and the worst-case-scenario is a "Sorry, we missed you.." card and a trip to the post-office. Frequently the postie is good enough to try and get into the building to slip mail under the flat door if the mail-box happens to be particularly trashed that day.

Other couriers, though, do not seem to be quite as good. Amtrak are the current recepients of my rage, as they appear to be too stupid to interpret either an address, or phone number. When a parcel did not arrive, I whined at the vendor, until I was given a tracking number. With no sign of the package two days after it's "guaranteed" delivery date, I phoned Amtrak to enquire.

After a brief tussle, explaining that I don't have a "Sorry" card, and thats why I'm especially peeved, I was told that the driver didn't know where my block of flats is. Swallowing a small ball of fury and resisting the temptation to suggest that he buy an A-Z from a newsagent of his choice (along with a family-sized clue), I was nice. I gave my phone number, and suggested he try to redelivery it today, giving me a call first, so that I could give him directions, and make sure that I was there in order to receive it.

No call. Clearly, operating a numeric keypad is too complex for someone who cannot locate an address within a city where they work as a delivery driver. The saga will continue, no doubt. It's tempting to report the goods as stolen and see what happens.

On the other hand, how badly do I really want a step machine?

Ramsey, and other books

Recent books: The Da Vinci Code, Deception Point, Digital Fortress (Dan Brown). Good (if slightly predictable), Fairly good and fairly bad, in that order. I wonder how long it will be before Hollywood dives on the latter two and insists on making them into god-awful movies?

Current book: Humble Pie (Gordon Ramsey). Excellent. I'm a bit of a Ramsey fan anyway, but reading his life-story (so far) in his own words is [explitive] great.

Next book: No idea. I'm struggling to find a new author - open to suggestions. Waiting for the next Harry Potter, too.

Oddly, nothing much to complain about here.

A beginning

Finally, after intending to do so for a rather long time, I have started my own blog. Woohoo. Another band-wagon firmly jumped upon.

After faffing around for a while setting up a small local website, I've decided that a) I don't really want to run a blog out of my study and b) it's far too much hassle. Hence I've used It seems to be rather good so far - I am unsurprised. Theres a Google logo on the front - this currently seems to (generally) be a good thing.

I am 27 years old and complain about [every/any]thing most of the time - hence the title for the blog, and I shall be using this space to vent about the various components of "everyday life" which wind me up. If I also tell you that I'm in England, you can probably guess what most of my complains will be about!