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(Sun 7th Aug 2011, 21:32, More)

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» Corporate Idiocy

Energy supplier security questions
Called my energy supplier to give them a new set of readings for my bill.

They started asking for my date of birth. I asked why. They said it was a security question, so I said "no", not that there was anything that they could do about it because they didn't actually know; I'd never supplied that information to them.

OK, says they, what's your phone number. Not telling, says I.

Is your house owned or rented? Not telling.

Look, you have to answer at least one of our security questions, says they. Why replies I, they're just the same questions that everyone else asks and they're not very secure are they; anyone can find that information out.

They're not the same questions, and if anyone calls pretending to be you, they don't know what we're going to ask them, counters they.

But you don't know who I am, and you've just told me what the questions are.

Erm, says they
(Thu 23rd Feb 2012, 20:17, More)

» Getting Old

The Menswear Department
For some reason, I always seem to have felt older than I am.

Musically, I became completely fucked up at a fairly early point in my life. At the tender age of eight or nine, I declared punk to be a load of rubbish and went off to listen to some classical music for a bit, at least until Kate Bush came along. Over the years, I have found no reason to dispute the soundness of that particular decision.

Around 1987, I was listening to the new Stevie Nicks album. It was crap, but I've subsequently found out that as I'd bought a limited edition version it's now worth around thirty quid, so I've actually got a profit on a bit of media that I bought (unlike all those VHS tapes). Anyhow, there was this one track with a guitar solo. It was awful, didn't really fit in with the rest of the track at all. So I was there thinking "What this needs is an accordion solo... Oh shit! Am I that far gone?"

I took to watching "Top of the Pops" with the sound down. It was more interesting that way, or at least until you started being able to work out what the act on screen was playing simply by looking at them at which point, change the channel and sod the charts. I was barely 22 at the time.

All the acts the recording industry marketed at my age group during the 90's completely missed me. The Stone Roses, Oasis, Blur, it was all shite; never connected with any of it. Coldplay? Fucking hate them! They had me agreeing with Jeremy Clarkson, and that's not on (he said they sounded like Leonard Cohen singing at his dad's funeral). There's next to bugger all that's any good come out of the mainstream in the last twenty odd years, and no sign that that's going to change in the next twenty either.

And the menswear department?

I was never the most fashionable fellow, but around 1995, I was stood in the middle of the menswear department of Littlewoods. Hardly the most inspiring of places, but I had forgotten what I went in there for. As I looked all around me looking for something to jog the memory, I realised something; nothing stood out. I was surrounded by this sea of bland, a mass of crap, dreary colour painted on a canvas of unimaginitive shapes.

Over the years, this plague has spread. Menswear departments depress me. When you've under thirty, every company wants to know you, wants to sell you stuff. But when you hit 30, that's it, they don't care any more. They think that by now they've got you hooked on whatever it is they are selling, so they move on to the next bunch of suckers. The result is, in fashion terms, that you are allowed to dress like you're in your twenties, or you get to dress like your grandfather.

Only the regulation colours allowed; black, grey, navy, brown, beige, or something that's been specially produced so that it looks dull and depressing (they could make yellow look miserable if they tried). Want trousers that fit right, don't drag your underwear about and look like someone actually bothered ironing them before stuffing them on a hanger in the store? Fuck off you fat, unfashionable old git! Want a shirt the right size, or with long sleeves? Don't be fucking awkward! Want something that actually looks good on you and doesn't make you look like a complete twat trying to dress half their age? You're 'aving a laugh!

The retailing experience in general is a complete pile of unwashed hardened wank rags, but a menswear department... that's them just rubbing your nose in it and telling you you're too old to exist let alone be wanting to buy clothes. I remember when they used to be a colour other than grey.

So I'm having a rebellion (or is it a mid-life crisis?). Punk didn't work for me, so I'm trying something else. I've been wandering around the women's department instead. Now aside from the fact that this is an area where the fashion industry really does take the piss, largely at the expense of it's customers who wind up wearing some totally ugly and repugnant shit in the name of fashion (e.g. the muffin top, leggings, the maxi dress, etc.), it is at least a lot more colourful and much more varied, and they do at least recognise that people exist between 30 and retirement, just.

OK, to be honest, I got totally fed up fruitlessly trudging around menswear stores getting nowhere and being made to feel like a middle-aged old fart, so I acquired a skirt...

Now, look! You honestly think menswear retailing has discovered the leisure kilt? They'd only manage to fuck it up if they did. If Henry VIII could get away with the tights and miniskirt look, then why can't I? Plus, if it is a mid-life crisis, it's cheaper and far less dangerous than getting a motorbike and behaving like a right cunt on the road.

It's nothing too outlandish; it's black, a-line and below the knee, but JTFC, is this thing comfortable! Ever spent the day lounging around the house in your underwear? It's like that, but everywhere! I'm half tempted to lose the underwear, but that could get tricky in a gust of wind situation. I've worn it on a couple of long car journeys, and it's solved a long standing issue with trousers where everything moves around and I wind up sitting there with my bollocks aching like they've been shoved into a vacuum packing machine and someone hit the start button because everything has gotten squashed up against the uncompromising crotch fabric.

It's also new and fun and interesting. I don't have to be concerned with having to fit myself around fashion, 'cos, well, it's not exactly an "in" thing in men's fashion, and since there's a load of designs which are pretty much timeless, you don't have to wind up feeling like some old coot in their 20 year old son's clothes. I'm out of fashion in this thing by about 500 years, but so what? Oh, and they're simple enough for a little DIY construction, although I really aught to learn to sew in a straight line!

Am I rambling? Sorry, what was the question again, sonny? Nurse! Nurse! Is it time for my medication yet? Get my melodeon, I want to annoy the neighbours some more!

Length? A couple of inches below the knee.
(Wed 13th Jun 2012, 17:57, More)

» Irrational Hatred

News "Analysis" and Unncecessary Outside Broadcasts
This drives me up the fucking wall. All these talking heads they get on the news to pad the thing out by "analysing" it. I don't want the news analysed. I can understand it just fine thank you very much, and if there is something I don't understand (and I care enough about it to want to understand it), I can look it up on this marvellous new thing called the Internet.

By far the worst example of this was during the run up to the Iraq invasion. There was that final meeting at the UN where they couldn't agree on anything so the war mongers in the US and UK governments just gave up and blamed the French for not letting them get their way. I was watching this live on BBC News 24, and basically they broadcast what the UK, the US, and the French representatives said and very little of what anyone else said (I do have to say that Dominque De Villepan spoke wonderfully well and logically on the subject at hand). The rest of it was pictures from the UN with some cuntfuck jabbering over the top of it. Hello! There are sixteen other nations represented around that table, all of whom get a vote before anyone gets to veto anything, so wouldn't it be an idea to find out what their mood is instead of just assuming that everyone except the French would vote for it? As I recall, both Russia and China were talking of vetoing as well, but that wasn't really up for discussion.

The BBC regularly do this with the Budget as well. As soon as the chancellor's speech is over, show a couple of minutes of the opposition response then cut to a load of has been politicians and other assorted pundits around a table. Thank heavens for BBC Parliament!

And then there is the matter of pointless outside broadcasts. It's ten o'clock at night and there is some reporter stood in front of the Old Bailey with a full outside broadcast unit telling everyone about some case that has been going on. Why is he still there? What a fucking waste of our license money. All those people standing around outside an empty building waiting for news of a case that isn't going to resume until the following day just so the news team can show that they're on the scene and ready to report anything that happens as it happens in the assumption that we'll all be terribly impressed by that. Send the outside broadcast unit home and put the reporter back in the studio where he belongs; it's cheaper and less pretentious.

They do it whenever there's flooding. Send someone out to stand in the flood waters and do a report. Why? Do they think that we don't know what water looks like? If all the reporters got out the water, it would probably be a few feet lower!

[/rant]
(Sat 2nd Apr 2011, 22:46, More)

» First World Problems

Dog Food
Dogs. They're an environmental disaster area.

Here we are facing the doom of Global Warming (Oh no! Oh no! Turn that light off! You'll kill us all!), constantly being told that we have to count our carbon emissions and make everything clean and green, but nobody seems to mention these nasty little rats that spend their time scarfing down "prime meaty chunks" of some big brand, high status dog food. To hell with the fact that your smelly arse-licking mutt will get through enough of this stuff in a year to create equivalent carbon emissions to that big, fat, wave your wad out the window, fuck off out of my way Audi Q7 cuntmobile that's sitting in the drive.

If the little bastards are quite happy eating prime cuts of hog anus, then that's what you feed them. There are enough bits of animal that get chucked out that we don't want so feed them that instead of giving them the good stuff. Forget Caesar, think Tesco Value cow brain and testicles flavour. But no, can't possibly have that. The owner's got to pamper their rotten pavement fowling pooch, got to give them the best because the pet food industry has conned them into believing that only the best will do because, hey, Fido's a member of the family too.

If all of these politicians and so-call environmentalists were serious about saving the planet, they'd be out culling dogs instead of badgers.
(Tue 6th Mar 2012, 20:47, More)

» The Great Outdoors

Sure, I'd love to blow up some caravans
My parents had this nasty habit of taking us caravaning.

One time, we wound up in North Wales. The caravan was parked up in a fairly crowded campsite (otherwise known as a field with a cesspit and a tap) in a valley. I might have possibly stood some chance of being able to enjoy and appreciate this a bit better if I hadn't been horribly constipated.

Fed up with this state of affairs, I resolved to do something about it, so I went off to the chemical toilet we had in the usual little porta potty-style tent next to the caravan and sat there straining away for about ten minutes. Unbeknown to me, the toilet had recently been emptied, and was sat astride a dip in the ground. This meant that when the compacted turd landed in the toilet's tank there was nothing to deaden the impact and it made a sound rather like someone throwing half a brick into a bucket. I swear I could hear it echoing down the valley. I sat there rather embarassed for another five minutes thinking that they must have heard that in Cardiff.

Length? Not much, but it helped.
(Thu 29th Mar 2012, 21:26, More)
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