You’ll probably have noticed that once again, I’ve gone through one of my silent phases and not posted anything recently. So here’s a brief post, covering some of my recent thoughts.
Work has been really busy and there’s been lots to do at home. I’ve also joined the gym in an effort to tone up and keep fit, although at the moment it’s more of an excuse to eat more crap than I used to. I’m gradually introducing some discipline so will be rippling with muscles in no time at all.
That’s my reason for not posting much recently. Anyhow, here’s my brief summary of stuff. That’s right; stuff.
My last real post was Vodafone’s Sneaky Price Increase, where I’d written a letter on behalf of a friend to Vodafone, claiming that their announced price increase was a breach of his contract with them.
I shared the letter, which has so far been downloaded 107 times. Many people have sent this to Vodafone and have received different responses. In general, Vodafone are accepting the letter as a request to terminate a contract with them. However, when customers are contacting Vodafone, they’re being told that they still need to pay an Early Termination Fee, which makes my letter a little pointless. I still think that my letter can be used to end a Vodafone contract without charge, but it seems that some people have been offered an early upgrade or money off their line rental. It all depends on how hard you want to push and how much you want to stick to your guns. One person was even told by Vodafone that the price increase didn’t apply to every customer, which seems quite odd. For details of people’s experiences and responses received, check out the comments.
Partly thanks to the Vodafone article, Ninja Hedgehog had 5,223 unique visitors during October, which is the highest amount of visitors ever in one month. Thank you to everyone who visited, even if it was by mistake.
More people have said that they were sexually assaulted by Jimmy Savile and more people have said that they suspected/knew he was up to no good. I wrote about this a while back, so won’t flog a dead horse but will reiterate my amazement that so many people have kept quiet and ignored what they saw or what they knew. It’s a bit too late for Jimmy to be punished now, isn’t it? Gary Glitter and Freddie Starr have been arrested in relation to the allegations so let’s hope that if either are guilty, they are force-fed their own penis.
Derren Brown: Apocolypse
Derren Brown is the master of mind-fucks. He’s not a mind-reader and he’s not a magician or illusionist. He’s a manipulator and very good at the way he does it. In fact, I saw him live a couple of years ago and he was very open about the fact that the seemingly random end to the show was in fact planned and pre-meditated all along. Very clever stuff.
In Apocalypse, Derren has found a young man who’s very gullible, vulnerable and a bit of a dick. In this program, he’s tricked into believing that the world is ending; a meteor attack has infected everybody (think cross between Deep Impact and 28 Days Later) and only a few survivors remain.
Mr Gullible meets a few of the other survivors and takes a 14 year-old girl under his wing, demonstrating the need to show leadership and make him a better person blah blah blah.
The concept was great, the way it was played out was great and the special effects were great- I’m guessing that there was a fairly large budget.
But it was boring.
The infected people were your stereotypical, pointless zombies and there was no real structure or plot. It was predictable and dull.
There were so many flaws in the theory and planning of Apocalypse, I don’t believe it could truly have been pulled off. In fact, I think it was all fake and the only people being tricked were the viewers. That’s right- I think Mr Gullible was in on it too.
It was almost like Mr Gullible was trying too hard to be pretending that he was being someone that he’s supposedly not.
In reality, even though Mr Gullible’s access to news was manipulated and restricted, there’s no way on earth that Derren Brown could guarantee that Mr Gullible wouldn’t realise there was no impending meteor strike. You couldn’t possibly contact everyone Mr Gullible may contact himself to make sure they go along with the story. What was to stop Mr Gullible from listening to a radio station that he doesn’t normally listen to or watching a television channel that he doesn’t normally watch?
A few years ago, Derren ‘predicted’ the lottery numbers. It was a disappointing act; he only revealed the numbers after the National Lottery had drawn them (if you could really predict such a thing, you’d reveal the numbers just before they were officially announced, to prove that you were genuine) and when you re-watch it on YouTube, you can see a few things that suggest the ‘prediction’ was down to a split screen camera trick. It seems that Derren runs out of ideas sometimes, so comes up with something that sounds good on paper and will draw in the television audience. That’s exactly what Apocalypse is.
I need new windows- mine are bout 20 years old and made from aluminium. The frames are wooden and they let out so much heat, it’s unbelievable. You can even feel a draught near most of them and don’t forget that one of them was recently broken.
The salesman visited me, took some rough measurements and quoted me a price. I told him that I didn’t want to pay that price and asked him to come up with a better price.
He did some calculations and gave me a price which was £700.00 less, but I told him this was no good. He said he couldn’t do any better than that.
I said I was sorry to have wasted his time.
He knocked another £200.00 off the price.
I’ve paid my deposit and the overall price is what I was expecting to pay after looking around on the internet at various window firms. All of the new windows are A rated and have more locks than you can shake a stick at- I’m really excited about these windows, which will probably be installed in around 4 weeks time.
I’m fairly confident that the salesman still got his commission and that the window company are still making a good profit on the windows so it just goes to show that (as with most things), the initial price is massively inflated. In hindsight, I reckon I could have haggled further but it made me wonder how many people would just accept the first price given to them.
I always haggle if I’m buying something big or entering into a contract- you’ve not got anything to lose by doing it and the worst that can happen is that someone tells you the price is absolutely non-negotiable.
Hopefully the installation goes smoothly and I’ll no doubt write something about it once it’s done. If someone breaks one of my new windows, I will hunt them down, rip their head off and shit down their throat.
Come Dine With Me Down Under
As I’m writing this, Come Dine With Me Down Under is on the telly. As the title suggests, this is the Australian version and it’s all wrong. The contestants are criticising each other for the food cooked and not for anything else- the scores given are fair and not tactical moves to win the prize money.
It’s boring; there’s no bitchiness or anything. I won’t be watching it again.
The dogs are shaking, panting and trying to climb inside me because of fireworks going off. Dogs are stupid.
Sometimes, lazy scumbags think that it’s acceptable to stroll through my back garden and take a short cut (which in fact saves all but 2 minutes of walking time). I bought an infra-red sensor security light from Wilkinson’s the other day and it only cost £10.00. I fitted it this afternoon and it works a treat. You can tweak the amount of time that the light stays on for, how sensitive it is and how dark it has to be for it to work. It’s now set up perfectly and hopefully, it will disturb the people in the house behind me as much as their own security light disturbs me when it comes on. If it doesn’t I can always angle it up a little bit and set it to stay on for longer.
That’s about it. I’ll definitely be posting again very soon.