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Almost chucked it in

Well, I almost chucked it in this week – almost.

I had a massively busy week where nothing seemed to go right – nothing, and as I had loads to do and sort out, my blog kinda fell by the wayside .. and the more I thought “Ooh, I really should go and blog”, the more it stressed me out, and less inclined I then felt about doing it.

It started on the morning before Rick turned up last weekend when I thought I’d go and quickly buy a new battery on my car which had died on me a couple of days before. And in the true tradition of nothing ever being as simple as you think it should be, although I got a new battery installed, this then reset the security code on my radio which, when I typed in the one supplied to me by the garage which sold me my car – it didn’t work!

My local Ford garage wanted £23.50 to reset the code for me, so I thought “sod that” and tried to extract the radio myself, so that I could read the serial number, and using this website here, reset the radio where they offer to do it for a much more reasonable £6 – a big saving

To cut a long story short, I ended up breaking the fascia on my car radio, and in the end (like I should have done in the first place, probably) took it back to the Ford garage, and for £25, got another radio unit installed!

In the end though, it wasn’t the money – it was the time and the hassle and the effort of it all when what should have happened is that I should of typed in the security code and it would have just worked.

Also this week my washing machine kicked the bucket (I’ve now been out and bought a new one), but yet again it’s the time and the effort and hassle of taking my washing round to a friends house to do, and un-plumb the previous one (currently sitting at the top of my stairs waiting to be taken away by the delivery men when my new one turns up on Wednesday).

I’m also in the process of re-mortgaging my property to get get a better deal and save myself about �80 on my repayments, and that involved seeing my financial advisor and doing a lot of paper work.

For some reason, I also then chose this week to introduce those whizzy DHTML menus that you now see at the top of my webpage, and – because I’m glutton for punishment – finally get around to editing my webpages properly so that they’re all formatted by CSS style sheets and not individual tags , thus making them about the half the size they were and quicker to download. I thought it would be quite quick and painless, but again – nothing is ever as simple as you think it should be, is it?

Then, to cap it all .. on Thursday at this week I had the busiest day at work that I can remember doing for about two years. Ok, that sounds quite grand, but you have to remember that in my previous job i wasn’t exactly, er.. keen most of the time as I was so wound down by it. So I walked in the morning at nine o’clock, answering the phone before I’d even logged in or taken my coat off, and it wasn’t until about a quarter to two in the afternoon that I suddenly realised that I hadn’t been to the loo or had anything to eat or drink all day .. it was that kind of busy morning!

It was strangely good though in a funny sort of way, because on the way home I remember thinking “I really enjoyed that actually”, because it was interesting and challenging and I’d forgotten what it felt like to actually enjoy your job – which I now do immensely – but it also completely knackered me out, and Thursday when I got home I just didn’t feel like doing anything – not even the energy to read my emails properly! (Yes, that tired!)

So that was my stressed out week. Then this weekend arrived, and I finally had a chance to catch up on a few things, and the world became a nicer place for me again.

(Interestingly, I score 12 on this ‘How Stressed are you?‘, quiz, where i’m just about in the ‘Staying in Control’ zone – one more point, and I’ve of been in the ‘Danger Zone – Watch out!’) Try it yourself and see what score you get – and be honest with your answers!


Bog RollSo … back to ‘blog moment of the week’ then, and it would have to be when I went to the toilet (sit down toilet) on Tuesday, and I had a ‘penguin’ moment. That’s right, a ‘penguin’ moment. Actually, I didn’t call it that, but it wasn’t until I told the story to Ciaran – one of my new colleagues, that he christened the motion of what I’m about to describe so.

I went into the cubicle – sat down, relaxed, did the business (took a couple of minutes) and then went to grab some loo reel when – ARGHH! No loo roll! Bastard! Why didn’t I check that before I sat down?

That’s right, I sat myself in a toilet with no loo roll – not even any scraps on the floor that you could risk using, or on top of the cistern – not even an old manky tissue in my pocket that I could use.

So what else do you do? Well you have to stand up, zip up, flush the loo and ‘penguin’ it round to the adjacent cubicle .. except .. there was no adjacent cubicle!

That’s right, in the BBC, there are plenty of male toilets which have multiple urinals but only single traps/cubicles, so I had to ‘penguin it’ down the corridor to a toilet which did have loo roll in and make myself decent again. Then wash my hands – again.

I just hope you didn’t read that story while you were eating something.

On another amusing note, later that afternoon I took a bizarre phonecall at work. We do tech support for all aspects of the BBC’s interactive services, and that now includes Teletext/Ceefax who became part of our department last year.

Ceefax Flights PageSo I answer the phone today, and I hear an abrupt speaking person who just says (no introduction) “Could you sort out page 452 on Ceefax please! it’s wrong and hasn’t updated for over half an hour”, and as I start to say “Ok.. I”ll..” he said “thank you” and put the phone down.

Intriguingly, I switch to page 452 (as I don’t know what it is) and it turns out to be the Flights Information page – and it is indeed corrupt and needs fixing.

I turn to one of my colleagues to ask about it as I’m not actually sure what to do, and they say “Oh no.. that wasn’t Kevin again on the phone was it?” (Kevin is not the real name by the way). “Eh? Who’s Kevin” I reply.

Kevin, it turns out, is a non-BBC person – just someone sitting at home who got hold of our number and seems to spend his whole life going through Ceefax pages – in particular the Flight information page, and tells us everytime that something is wrong with it – and he’s been doing it for about the last 3 years. Seriously!

Can I tell him to fuck off? Well It’s tempting but i might lose my job. There again, he is ringing the number for technical support for BBC staff, and not external people, but somehow he seems to have got our number and tends to call “About once a fortnight”, tell me my new colleagues. Oh dear …

AirclickFinally, some iPod stuff to catch up on then which people now tend to send me relentlessly, including how to turn a regular iPod into an iPod shuffle in three easy steps.

And check out this page for all sort of upcoming iPod gadgets, including how to turn your iPod into a movie player, and the Air Click remote control, AirClick FM receiver, and AirClick USB receiver all from Griffin.

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