Gloucester's rubbish fireworks

I've been the Gloucester Docks fireworks display many times since moving here.  When I lived in the actual docks it was obviously rather convenient (and I didn't have to pay to get in), but I've been back several times since because it's always been very good.

Sadly this year it was rubbish, and judging by social media reaction the other 9,999 people there agreed with me.

We arrived quite soon after the gates opened, having not been organised enough to book in advance (but that's ok, because apparently including fees it actually cost *more* to prebook....).  Jon wanted a beer, so we... continue reading »

no more facebook importing

In their infinite wisdom, facebook have decided to remove the ability to import notes from an RSS feed.

ie the feature I've been using for the past however long, to cross post my blog posts to facebook, so there's more chance of people actually reading them!

The only explanation given is for why you can no longer import to pages:

We want you to connect with your fans in the most effective ways possible. [...] The best way to get people to interact with your content is to give them insight into the links you share on your Wall by... continue reading »

well done O2...

Lessons learnt this week: ranting in 140 characters can be frustrating.

O2, in their infinite wisdom, decided on Thursday to push out some age verification shit and block websites it deems 'unsuitable' for under 18s.

I discovered this the fun way - whilst sat on the loo trying to read Jem's website.  Apparently I am no longer allowed to do this.  Does occasional swearing and talk of breastfeeding make it that unsuitable for minors?  fuck knows.  B3ta's also blocked, but that's a lot less surprising. (as a side note, if I swear more (is that even possible?!) will I get blocked too...?)

So... continue reading »

Specsavers strike again

I've mentioned the various incompetencies of specsavers before, in great detail... and I had sort of been hoping that it was just the Kings Heath branch being crap.

Apparently not so much. 

Last month I went for an actual eye test.  That started badly when, after 50 minutes sat in the waiting area, I thought I'd go and ask how much longer I'd be waiting.  Only to discover that they'd actually forgotten I was there.  Great.

Eventually got my eye test, which was fine.  Left eye slightly worse, but not really much, and not enough to necessitate new glasses unless I wanted a... continue reading »

wrong number

It turns out that my landline number used to be a customer support number for some pharmaceutical company.

I'm not usually home in the daytime so this isn't really an issue, but when I have been home I'd have the odd call

This morning's took the piss somewhat.  Phone rings, I'm in bed snoozing so ignore it.  Phone keeps ringing. Doesn't shut up.  Still ringing.  Fine, I will get up and answer it.

"hello, I have a few queries"
"this is blah blah pharmaceuticals?"
"oh, no, it's not"
"oh right, so who is this then?"
"it's a private residence"
"but the book says this is their number!!"
"I think... continue reading »

Skype woes

Have spent another few hours this week trying and failing to get Skype working properly on linux.  Still no luck.  It refuses to pick up my microphone, even though it's obviously working as I can make sounds come out of the speakers...  Mind you, various kde sound recording apps don't pick it up either, no matter how much fiddling I do with the mixer settings... 

I'm determined to get it working eventually though, because then I won't have to use windows for anything.  But for now I think I've exhausted all possible solutions, bah :(

So I'm currently using skype for IM... continue reading »

virgin media are still rubbish

My internet connection is doing something weird.  For a change :roll:

Sites aren't loading.  Not all sites, and not all the time.  But there's a few that are consistently broken (including this one, bah).  Not a DNS thing, not a server problem with the sites themselves...  Pinging works normally, and small things will load (I can always get to my 404 page, or load small images) - just not whole pages.  The title will come up, but then it just sits and 'loads' forever.  No timeouts either.

And then occasionally there'll be a 2 minute burst where everything is fine and normal. ... continue reading »

Should have gone somewhere other than Specsavers

Part who-knows-what in the continuing saga of my eyesight...

I went for a contact lens checkup in May, because my old ones were useless - I could see through them, but not anything close up. Like computer screens, books, TV, road signs...  There was some faff getting my records from the Ludlow branch, but that's ok.

So they went off to order the new lenses in, and I heard no more about it.  Chased them up (earlier this month), and they claimed to have no record of me ever going in, and generally sounded quite confused.  I explained I was waiting for... continue reading »

why bloated websites are bad

Oooh, I'm annoyed.  Very annoyed.

This afternoon was a chance to buy an awesome new domain name. Admittedly, I only found this out because Jem told me half an hour beforehand, but nevermind.

Anyway, one spur of the moment decision later, I'm navigating my way through excessive amounts of bloat on the GoDaddy website.  Seriously, white space is not a bad thing.  You do not need to cram that much information/pictures/crap into such a small space, it makes it impossible to find anything...

Eventually I got through far too many screens of "do you want any other domains?" "do you want hosting?"... continue reading »

Virgin Media are a load of cocks

Yeah, what it says up there. 

I have no internet at home, and haven't for several days now.  But according to tech support/customer service/whatever there's absolutely no problem and it's all working fine.   Er, no...

Predictably I'm not happy about this, as it means I can't get anything done at home.  Which means spending too much time in hot stuffy smelly computer labs at uni, and on Tuesday the added excitement/hassle of having to drive over to the office in Ludlow to get some work finished off.  Not amused.  At all. 

bah humbug, it's November

So, not only is the telly full of stupid perfume adverts, as well as that bloody coke christmas advert, but in one of the many horrible shops in one of the many horrible shopping centres in town today what did I hear but "Merry Christmas Everybody". 
Or rather, the first 30 seconds of it, at which point I'd had enough, considered sticking my fingers in my ears but thought that might be a bit too obnoxious, and exited sharpish.

I mean come on, it's still just about November so there's no excuse for it.  Christmas is rubbish and I... continue reading »

flat viewings are getting annoying

The lettings agents dealing with the flat are starting to annoy me now.  The last week has been a constant stream of phone calls and people turning up, which is fair enough.

But urgh, I sort of feel like they're starting to take the piss a little bit.  I've had 4 lots of people round so far, and another two due on the next two evenings. And despite various promises, only once has one of their staff turned up to do the viewing (and that's a bit of a saga in itself).  If they'd said to start with that I'd have... continue reading »

"do you have any ID?"

I got IDed (how do you spell that?) again today.

Given that I will be 23 in a month's time, this is almost annoying. Actually I don't really mind, because it doesn't happen that often and it is just them doing their job with the "if you look under 21" thing.  If I thought it was because I looked under 18 I would be upset.

But urgh, it's the way they do it.  Last week at whatever club in Hanley, that's fine because they simply asked, looked, then said ok and that was it.  But today in Somerfield the woman was really... continue reading »

"all our representatives are still taking calls..."

British Gas are now well and truly top of my 'I-hate-you' list.

I moved here what, 6 weeks ago?  And when I did so the lettings agent took gas/electricity meter readings and passed those on, along with my details, to whoever the suppliers are.

This morning I get not one but TWO angry letters from British Gas demanding details with the threat of assuming the property is empty and cutting off the electricity supply if they don't hear back within 7 days.


What's even better is that the letters say "we sent you this letter on 4th April 2007".  Today is the... continue reading »

mystery box

I have a new pet hate.  Well, really a newly resurfaced old pet hate... On websites, of course:

That.  It's an empty input with a 'go' button.  Really user friendly :roll: 

It is, of course, a search box.  Clearly many web designers think that this should be obvious to your average internet user.  It's not.  It's just an unlabelled input box.

This particular example was screengrabbed from the Ubuntu forums, and they really should know better.

I'm not making any claims of expertise when it comes to doing user friendly accessible websites, but I do my best - and things like that... continue reading »

car insurance

My car insurance is due next month.  Oh joy..  More worryingly the MOT is due tomorrow, getting done on Thursday and I reallyreallyreally hope it passes because my tax is due at the end of the month (so the weekend) and I'll be a bit screwed otherwise.

But yeah, insurance. Last year's cost £620.  That included no no-claims of any sort, and Alex as a named driver.  But I did live in the middle of the countryside and had a garage.  So not too bad.

Had the renewal quote through - £660!  OK so that's for the new address which is... continue reading »

Broadband should not be this difficult

I arrived at my parents' house this afternoon armed with a load of washing, a car in desperate need of a good wash, and most importantly, some flowers for mum for mother's day.  This officially makes me the Best Daughter Ever :)  yay.  It has since been pointed out that I have never given her flowers before..  oh well.

I've been having some fun with ISPs this week...

the short story is that my broadband is now on order and should be activated by the end of next week.
the long story involves much more ranting :)

My old isp was EFH. ... continue reading »


Just as I was about to leave for work this morning a plumber turned up.  I wasn't expecting one, and it meant I had to faff around going to find my landlady so I could go to work and know that the house would get locked at some point.  grr.

This isn't quite as random as it may sound, as our landlady is getting central heating put in the house after we move out.  At least, I thought it would be after we moved out...  We've seen the listing on the lettings agent's website and it says 'available April', giving... continue reading »

ahh, scaremongering

Wandering around Ludlow today I spotted an advert in a shop window for some rubbishy anti-wrinkle cream or other.  Not usually something I would think about for any more than half a second, because I am nowhere near arsed enough about wasting money on face cream, but this was different.  Bad Science.  One of my favourite things to rant about.

If electromagnetic waves can penetrate walls, imagine what they can do to your skin.

It might have actually used the magic word "radiation" instead of waves - I can't remember.  ooh, doesn't that all sound exotic and sciencey and BAD!  Electricity!  Magnets!... continue reading »

it's fucking freezing!

It's cold.  very cold.  Thermometer says it's about 8 degrees in my room - which is the 'new' extensiony bit of the house, so doesn't have massive thick stone walls or whatever like the rest of it. 

We've got the fire on though, which does a good job of warming the rest of the house up (or it would if Alex would ever keep the lounge doors open anyway). 

I want some snow!  Apparently it was snowing in Stoke the other night, and in Birmingham. But not here.  bah.  London (centre of the entire universe don't you know) has snow, so... continue reading »

middle lane

Apparently it's been a while since I've driven on a proper motorway (the M54 really doesn't count)
Went up to Worcester yesterday, which involves small amounts of the M5. Which, unlike the M50 and M54, has three lanes and therefore a middle lane.

Seriously, why do people sit in the middle lane all the time? It's really stupid and really annoying. But quite fun when the middle lane is full of traffic and doing about 40 and the fast lane is going at 50 and I'm the only car in the slow lane and I'm happily going past everyone... continue reading »

kubuntu is still rubbish!

Well, the good news is that I finall got kubuntu to install! Off the live cd - only difference this time is that I unplugged my usb hub. hmm. But it installed quickly and painlessly and without nuking my /home and /fat partitions, so that's good.

Bad news is that far too many things aren't working. Sound (meh), USB anything (wtf, this isn't win98!) and more annoyingly, internet.
Having a computer with no network connection is actually quite useless, given that 90% of everything I use it for involves the internet. Not even got php/apache/mysql installed yet... continue reading »


So some Russian blokey got poisoned by some Polonium-210 and it's all over the news.
This has slightly pissed me off - not because of what actually happened, because radiation poisoning is not something I'd wish upon anyone - but because of the threat of mass hysteria from people who don't know what they're talking about.

Polonium 210 is an alpha source. Alpha particles, also known as helium nuclei, are fat bastards with a pathetically small range. They can't penetrate skin (or anything else for that matter) and a few cm of air will... continue reading »

kubuntu is rubbish!

I've broken linux. And this time I really do mean broken - not just screwed up configs or weird boot errors - absolutely totally completely broken beyond all repair. And I'm not amused.

Actually, none of this is my fault. I'm blaming Kubuntu and its overhyped crapness.
Desktop linux, easy for anyone to install and use, detects all sorts of hardware, sets everything up properly blah blah blah. I've only ever heard good things about how good the install process is. So I thought I may as well give it a go, because I'd quite like... continue reading »

ooh, bleach...

Katy decides she is not blonde enough and needs some highlights. Katy cannot afford to get them done 'properly', and hates all hairdressers anyway on principle because they're useless chavvy twats.

hmm, let's look back at previous hair colourings shall we?
I had red streaks in the first year of uni, they worked fairly well until they faded and stayed pink for months.
Then I had several failed attempts at going red all over, ending up ginger and then orangy pink.
Then there was the bleach. That worked, but left me with a nice dark halo an inch down my hair. ... continue reading »

Snakes in the Slow Lane

Well, today has been a bit crap.
First off, I overslept. This resulted in a bit of a mad panic so I could leave for work in time. And when I did finally leave the house, I was greeted with this lovely sight:

A massive lorry (two trailery bits) full of hay completely blocking the gate.
No sign of the driver, naturally. No idea what it was doing there, obviously we do kind of live on the farm but you'd think they could have at least driven into the yard rather than 'parking' in the road (not even pulled... continue reading »

BT are idiots

This week I have had the unfortunate pleasure of having to speak to someone in BT's callcentre. Bet you can guess where this post is going already...

I like paying bills online. I logged in to pay our last phone bill online, to discover that for some reason the new account never got added after we moved. So I set it up, and got a message saying bills/calls etc would be viewable 'within 48 hours'.
Four days later and there's still no sign of any details. So I phoned customer services, and had a frustrating conversation with a... continue reading »