Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Storms are brewing

There has been or still is a major damn storm in the SF area. It has been pis…… pouring down with rain. Where did the sin go??? I guess I have been gloating and this is karma. But when we woke up, started to listening to Iain Lee @ LBC and heard the London weather :) -3 with snow and sleet - oh dear. But there will not be sunny weather here either.

The other storm brewing is that we have moved of the friends flat and checked into a local Howard Johnson motel. The flat we were staying at was damn cold, had a draft and the next lodger were coming in from Germany sometime after midnight … and could we pick him up and let him in? The guy who rent this flat is staying with his girlfriend.

We are not used to sharing our living with other people. The new lodger was supposed to have our room but he was going to be put up in other (shittier) room so we decided to move out. We felt that we were in the away and didn't want to be disturbed by other people and (and ME=) live in cleaner place with working loos and plenty of hot water.

It got damn awkward the friends and they insisted that we should stay in the flat. How could we tell them that their way of living was not good enough for us? I know one should not gifted horse in the mouth. It is our holiday and we have a few things to do and we didn't want to compromise on this.

We picked up the lodger at Bart station on 7th street around midnight. And let me tell you that was a totally different picture of SF. There were bums, druggies and all sorts of wired people. My instincts were let's get the hell out of here. I parked the car on a corner and boyfriend went out to get the guy. Locked the car and hope that nobody would approach the car … but that happened, and I shook my head, I wasn't interested to but drugs. Boyfriend was approached as well with the offer of stripped joints. The guy that we were picking up had been harassed by the locals and could not get out there fast enough.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I like it

Day 2 in SF. Guess where I am sitting now? (rhetorical question …) I am sitting in café / laundromat with wifi. But the wifi don't belong to the café … it is somebody else. We have also had a chat with the man sitting next to us, him and boyfriend had a brief discussing about laptops. People are much open and friendlier here in SF compared to London.

Last night, at the end it was really difficult to keep awake but we managed to stay up to 23.00, got a good night sleep and I feel like I am on SF day rythem now.

Most things are bigger - bigger Diet coke bottles / can – good thing!!. The cars are very much bigger. I saw a Hummer 2 yesterday and that was like wow, it is like a damn tank.

The man sitting next to us just left his laptop on the table to go to the bathroom (or the Restroom here the US) - like toally unheard in London ;)

The weather report: it is raining but it is clearing up - still warmer then home. But I, unfortunately, have to say it is cold in door, even worse then normal British homes.

I have arrived

The flight was fantastic, which is funny way of describing an 11 hour flight. But the thing was that it was clear sky so we were flying at 10,058 meter / 34,000 feet and you can look down and see the earth. We flew over Iceland and saw some fantastic views. I could see the mountains and valleys and it was mostly dark brown colouring. When we reached Greenland, was all white. The nature looked so untouched by humans.

I did have a 'blond moment' over Greenland. I was looking out of the window and thought "Oh – that is an Iceberg WOW". The logic kicked in … hmmm can I really see an iceberg for 10,000 meter? Answer no. Then I thought it possible could be a mountain chain in Greenland but that didn't work either since Mount Everest is 8,000 odd meters. So it has to be a cloud that I was looking to but it looked amazing.

I feel asleep between middle Greenland and end of Canada. Calgary looked like a tile layout. All grid networks and the view wasn't really ending.

For once I was in window seat, and could enjoy the view. I am aisle person and I still prefer that, I don't like to be enclosed by other people. My boyfriend wasn't sitting next to me, full flight and late booking. My luck today was to have a chatty man who needed a shower that didn't get the boundaries where his seat ended and my begun.

US customs was no problem and it all went smooth. We picked up the rental car. Got an upgrade to City Jeep from the cheapest, smallest car we could get. The kind woman behind the counter really thought that we should drive a bigger car. The car, however, smells of weed. There was a svirl incident on the high way from the airport but it was only close nothing happened.

I am now sitting in the café with wifi where everybody sits and socialise with a laptop in front of them.

I am getting knackered now but I need keep going for a few more hours.

Oh yeah … THE WEATHER. It is SUNNY (yippi) and around 17 C degrees. Niiiice.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Packing to do!

Right, I have to start packing (well, after this blog post) since I am going to boyfriends parents tonight. They live closer to Heathrow so that will the journey to LHR much smoother.

I will not miss work and today were loads of things to do before I left. Why is it that it is more stressful before you go on hols? Well, one good thing was that I missed out on the MDs speech (5 people have been redundant this month) and there was like a goodbye thing this afternoon that MD hijacked to take what sales figure he needed before yearend. Idiot.

I am looking forward to go to San Francisco (except for the full flight going there) and just see some new stuff. Last time I went there was in the summer of ’99.

Right … packing

See ya' laters!

A great letter of complaint

When all that bad stuff was happening with my mobile last week, I had a parallel problem with flowers being delivered on Valentines Day.

Yesterday, I took the time to write a letter of complaint of M&S. But frankly, it was bad, very bad. I asked a colleague if she would not mind having ago and she gladly typed away. This is her letter and I think it is fab.

Dear Miss X,

Thank you for your letter dated 16 February 2006 and the enclosed gift vouchers of £10.

I feel, however, that the £10 compensation is a paltry amount considering the inconvenience, delay and disappointment that I have had to endure. I feel it is necessary to write to explain the situation fully.

The first bunch of flowers was due to be delivered on Valentines Day. Delivery of these flowers was not even attempted. This was very upsetting for me and especially for my boyfriend. A replacement bunch of flowers was due to be delivered on 16 February 2006 after my boyfriend called up and complained of the non delivery.

Once again, these were not delivered. The very poor excuse this time was “because the post code was not in your system”. The post code is XX which is on the major road of X W Street in the City of London. When my boyfriend complained again, you promised to refund his credit card and send me a letter of apology with compensation. I received a brief apology letter, with the voucher. As I said above, £10 is not a satisfactory compensation for the distress and inconvenience that has been caused to me and my boyfriend. As at today the refund has still not been credited to his credit card.

On 17th February, the flowers were eventually delivered to the apparently ‘unknown’ post code. If you were able to deliver them on the 17th, then why was delivery not possible on the 14th? Marks & Spencer should not advertise a service they obviously cannot provide. My disappointment did not end there. I opened the cardboard box with dismay, for there was a complimentary box of chocolates thrown on top, which crushed the flowers that I had been waiting 3 days for. I have photographic evidence of this, should you require.

We should not have to chase delivery of a bunch of flowers that were supposed to be a Valentines surprise. I should certainly not have to chase for adequate compensation and a refund that was promised. I am at a loss to describe the inadequate customer service that I feel Marks & Spencer have provided on this occasion.

Like any dissatisfied customer, I have complained loudly to my colleagues and friends about your appalling service. One of the comments I received was that Marks & Spencer have made deliveries to this office before, so the post code obviously is in your system.

Marks & Spencer is supposed to be a quality store, providing customer service and products that are second to none. Quite frankly, receiving crushed flowers 3 days after the due delivery date, with a meagre £10 voucher, with no real explanation of why I did not recieve them on time, does not constitute good customer service. Do you treat all your customers with such contempt?

I would like confirmation in writing that the refund will go to my boyfriends credit card, and would appreciate some adequate recompense for the trouble I have encountered, and perhaps this will restore my faith in Marks & Spencer.

Yours sincerely

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Enjoyed that!

I enjoyed quite a few this today.

I enjoyed my lunch today. A few colleagues went out to celebrate a colleagues’ 40th birthday. It was a nice and relaxed lunch with some bitching about one of the directors. He has managed to piss off a lot of people with his primadonna style. With us in Finance, it is his expenses (and the fact that his dept do not bring in the sales as they are suppose to do). He has not done for them for months and now when a PA is back from maternity leave, he has dumped them on her (she wasn't happy either to do. All his mobile and home phone calls are “business expenses, he calls home to pick up his messages” In total, it is over £1,000 and is sadly a few peoples payrises with the level of this companies profit margin .

Checked the weather forecast for SF, +15 and SUN – better then London with its winter weather.

I went shoe shopping after work today and guess what I enjoyed that too. My boyfriend was with me :)

On Monday we had a the following telephone conversation;

Him: I am going to be in a meeting in Central London tomorrow. I can meet you afterwards and we can go shoe shopping.

Me: *silence for a bit* when did I tell you that I needed to buy new shoes?

Him: You didn’t.

Me: Oh

Him: I read it on your blog.


I found the shoes in one my favourite shoe store: Aldo on Oxford St and boyfriend even paid for them. Aaaaawwwwww what a good boyfriend :)

I saw a good Olympics ice hockey game tonight, enjoyed it very much. USA vs Russia. Very good stuff. The match finished USA 4 Russia 5. USA did a strong comeback and fought all the way. I am not American or Russian so I could just enjoy the game, but I can imagine anyone supporting these teams be all fired up after this game.

Boyfriend just told me - he has found a triband phone on eBay and bought. Wohooo!! It is a Nokia 3120 for £30 - it will be just fine for me in the US. ENJOYED THAT!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Ownership of Freedom of Speech

The longer this attempt of the Islam Leaders to limit the Western’s Freedom of Speech, the more obvious their agenda is becoming.

A lot of cards have been put down on the table with all of this shit going on. Weakness and true intentions have become a lot clearer.

Yesterday, there was another demonstration by the moderate Islam community in London.

Ishmaeel Haneef, on the committee of the organisers for the demonstration said, source BBC News, the way to "get back to being a civilised world" was to "give the copyright [of the cartoons] over to the Muslim community".

The Muslim community wants to have ownership of Freedom of Speech and that anything they will find offensive, that list is getting longer and longer, shall be handed over to them. That would be living in an Islamic dictatorship.

Who should the copyright be handed over to? Is there a specific leader, organisation, country to hand these over to?

If so, I would like them to stand up and identify themselves!

One of my problems with Islam is that is so decentralised so when anything inconvenient happens, the comment “They are false Muslims and not the true followers of Islam” It is the standard get out clause and makes it difficult to make any sort of progress.

And then there is the comment of "get back to being a civilised world". Yes the world was definitely more civilised before all the Muslims started to burn down embassies, trying to bully nations into submissions, limiting the Freedom of Speech to their non-existent level, adding extra pictures to their dossier when going on the road show by the shit stirrer of a ‘Danish’ Imam.

Yes, the Muslim community should definitely apologies to the rest of the world and then we can go back to a more civilised world.

There is a lot of self-censorship going on now so we are in fact living in a partial Islamic dictatorship. The Italian Minister Robert Calderoli got fired because he had a Tshirt on with the France Soir cartoon on. Doesn’t anyone have any balls anymore? Well, at least the Danish do.

What are we so afraid of? We are letting these terrorists and other Islamic leader have too much influence and this needs to be reversed.

Friday, February 17, 2006

17 Feb 06 part 2 (part 1; the post below)

I went to Carphone Warehouse, with low hopes, and handed over the paperwork to the guy behind the counter. He did a bit of tapping on the computer and then said “uh”. From that moment, I knew my phone was not coming back with me tonight. Just fucking knew it.

The guy went away look in his pile, couldn’t find it and went further away. He came back said “They couldn’t repair it and it had to be sent away to Nokia”. This would take 10-14 working days, counting from Tuesday.

I asked how much it will cost and he said it was under warranty. No, I told him, my warranty expired two weeks ago. He looked … no stared at me and after a while he said it would still be £30. Fine, I said, then you would not mind writing that down on the paperwork. He actually did it, to my surprised.

I told him that I was going to the States next Saturday and that I needed my phone. “Oh shit” mumbled the guy under his breath. I asked about replacement handset but all they could give me was dual and not triband, which is needed for the States.

I have no more energy to be angry or annoyed, nothing more I can do. Just need to find a phone that will work in States within a week. Ebay here I come, maybe now I actually will ‘get’ Ebay now.

Warning: bad language in this post

I am not as angry as I was a few hours ago. I sooo hope that I do not have to make another Customer Service call today.

My Nokia 6260 is fucked. Totally & utterly fucked. I was txt-ing yesterday, and my phone memory got full – with no fucking warning - and could not accept any more txts. I had to delete items to be able to send/receive txts. Fine.

But when I tried to delete stuff from my phone, then it would not start the deleting process since there was no memory to execute the process. When I went through the menus, I could not go into Messages, gallery, themes etc.

Catch 22, eh? Can’t fucking delete stuff when there is no memory.

I hooked up the phone to the computer, to try to delete files via the file managers. But nooooooo, that didn’t work.

Boyfriend checked some websites and found that one maybe could start the phone in a safe mode. In retrospect, I should not have turned off the phone and I did suspect that it would not re-start again.

When re-starting the phone, it does even show the pin number question. Only a blank screen.

I started off by calling my network 02. No help there really – upgrade & new 12 month contract with 02. I asked when my 12 month contract, aka warranty, would expire?
Answer; it expired 3 Feb 06

My phone is 1 year and 2 weeks old – a coincident it fucks up 2 weeks after the warranty has ended? Ich kein think so

I swore, kicked the table and thought about it. I decided my best option is to flash the memory and start over again. I took a backup yesterday and I got about 7MB of the 8MB. I called 02 back and the girl tried to help but she could not find the info about restoring the factory settings. She gave me the number to Nokia’s help desk. It wasn’t the right one but I got to the Nokia Club helpline in the end.

The guy was nice, tried to help but when he realised the phone would not even start up properly (after about 15 min conversation), he said that he could not help me. He said the next step is to go to Carphone Warehouse (I already dislike that company so much cos their customer service sucks big time) and have them sort out the phone.

I called Carphone Warehouse and explained the situation. It would cost me £30 to get the phone sorted and it will take a few hours.

I have been down to the shop and handed the phone over. I will pick it up later this afternoon. It would surprise me if the phone worked when I pick it up.

To be continued … is my guess anyway.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


For any Hasselhoff fans out there or for the rest of you who just want to ... I don't know how describe it. Look for yourself @ SPACE GHOST blog.

Photo shopped or what?

The US trip is around the corner

We are going to the US on 25 Feb. It is so nice to have something to look forward to. I know it is a cliché but it is still so true.

At work, I have started to prepare the most boring stuff for the financial year end (31 March) and my motivation level has barely been hanging in there.

But then I had a look on my rude Japanese calendar and saw that the trip is soon here. Apparently this calendar is rude and has something to do with shitface. I didn’t know … I bought cos it had cute cats. Ops - I have deleted that pics. Ah well, maybe in another post.

Plz, plz & more plz let there be nice weather and a lot of sunshine. The Sun is back here in the UK but I would not mind lots of extra sun on this trip.

I need to buy some shoes before I go. Yup that I need to do.

Anything else??

A great comment

In the Finance dept where I work, the cynicism is running high. We see the difference of Management "Truth" and the real truth in the numbers being produced. The difference is vast. This leads to many cynical & funny comments being said.

But the other day, a non-Finance staff –S- said a great comment that superseded our levels.

A couple of weeks ago, the EuroLotto Jackpot was £125,000,000 and that got most people of talking about “What would you do if …” The most common answer was holiday, buy a car etc

S would buy the company (£6-8,000,000) and fire all those managers that have been firing long-serving staff. Then she would go on holiday and so on.

After the comment there were a few second of silence and then a great appreciation of her excellent comment. We hadn’t thought about that angle at all – and we gave S all credit she deserved.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Slightly bored

I have just finished my lunch and I am slightly bored.

So I decide to read some more news and I started at BBC News, “Climate Change” at the bottom right hand corner caught my attention.

Clicked on it, and got to BBC Nature & Science website – they want to a experiment with some calc more powerful then a supercomputer by using distributed computing.

I am impressed by the BBC site – they are covering a lot of ground in all kind of subject. Part of this is paid with the licence fee and I feel get more value out the BBC site compared to the number of hours watching the BBC channels.

Anyway, I have a question for you;

Which phrase is right?

AN SD memory card


A SD memory card


"The form an for the indefinite article is used before a spoken vowel sound, regardless of how the written word is spelt."

Source: Ask Oxford and English Rules

S is pronounced "ess" and it should therefore be AN SD Card

Friday, February 10, 2006

Concentration practice

It is always good to practice your concentration. If you want to have a go, click here.

Thx Dustin for the tip.

Green Street

Now that is a good film. It has a Cert 18 - rightly so.

The US title is Green Street: Hooligans

A Harvard drop out gets caught up in football (soccer) firm fights

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Shit stirrer

In my part of the world, the dust is settling a bit and some more facts about these 12 cartoons are surfacing.

En Egyptian newspaper published some of these 12 cartoons the 17 October 2005, see Freedom for Egyptians’ blog.
And where was the riots, burning of flag & Embassies? The hypocrisy, again, is striking.

So what happened between End of Sep/17 Oct 05 and End of Jan 06?

Well, basically the shit stirrer Imam Abu Laban from Denmark went on tour in the Arab world to gain “momentum” for his cause.

And how did he do that?

He added fake pictures in his portfolio, and these fake pictures are not in the league of a caricature. The new additions are offensive and he even gets caught on BBC News player – on DFH’s blog. This website shows the whole leaflet from Abu Ladans organisation Det Islamiske Trossamfund.

One of Abu Ladans offensive pictures, man with a pig nose on, has it origin from when motor mechanic Jacques Marrot ran for the annual French championships in pig squealing in the southern French city, Trie-sur-Baise and nothing at all with the 12 published cartoons.

All these riots are a sign of manipulation from the governing Islamic leaders.

And how could this happen?


And how have these fact been discovered?

It has to be said that it is more thanks to the blogosphere then to main stream media for this discovery.

If the French and European papers had not re-printed these 12 cartoons, then this fact with the added pictures would not have surfaced.

Critical thinking in the Arab world is lacking and this is due to the absent of Freedom of Speech. This goes from any political leader that has condemned the 12 cartoons to the rioters.

Level of manipulation in the Arab world is alarming. More then one source of information is needed to get better insight of what is going on.

The agenda of the religious leaders of Islam is more transparent and it is hostile to the Western World and our society.

The Western World will not turn into Islamic States. For those Muslims living in the West, the main adjustments have to be from their side towards the Western society values. They can still practise their religion but their religion can never take precedent over the Western values.

Diversion; it is easier to gather the masses to hate the Western World then having them questioning the injustices in their own countries. Why not use this energy and effort to try to better themselves and their country?

The Muslim scholars that wants to change UK law to stop “insulting pictures” (I read: any pictures) the Prophet Mohammed (btw, does that also include Jesus and Moses, which Islam sees as prophets as well?) must not be allowed to limit any part of Freedom of Speech.

Jylland-Posten has writen an article from their point of view - thx AJWZ for blogging about it!).

Welcomed happening

The Sun is back. It is shining in the morning when I stubble out of bed and is still going strong when I leave the office.

Much appreciated!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Can’t stand junk mail

Today I was in a perfect petty Accountant mood so I called up loan.co.uk from which I had received junk mail and I asked where they got my address from. Experian was the answer. Experian is a credit scoring company, y’know if you got difficulty getting credit cos somebody have stolen you ID etc.

I did a Google search for Experian and found their website, navigated to the “Contact us” and called 0870 241 6212 and what do I get. Automated Phone Voice and nobody to speak to – hate that.

Next step was to use yell.co.uk (I really like this website) and searched for Experian, found a new number 0131 228 8030. I called it and in a short-ish tone explained what I wanted. She did not want to deal with me and give out the HQ number in Nottingham 0115 941 0888. I called this number and was put through the Marketing dep. (the root of all evil according to Dilbert).

The girl could not find me in their database, searched for post code, first line of my address and finally when she searched for my surname she found me with the comment “Oh I don’t know why I couldn’t find you before”. Firstly, I asked her where Experian got my name and address from and secondly to be taken off their database.

Secretly, I was hoping that she would say that I had signed up for one of their credit reports ages ago and they had used that info to sell the database. I had a nice, long and sarcastic speech in my mind. But no – it was worse. They had bought the information from Companies House (where all Annual Accounts etc must be sent, required by law).

I am a Director for the Resident Association where I live (somebody must keep an eye on our dodgy Accountant) so my name and address is submitted with the Annual Fin.States.

Now I was pissed off, Google searched Companies House and found their phone number 0870 33 33 636 and asked them what right they had selling their database? The guy didn’t appreciate my tone of voice and just barked that all info on Companies House is public so if I don’t like it then I could resign from my duties.

I answered back that I fully understand that transparency is needed for the Accounts but what right do they have to selling their database? No answer but I got another phone number to get a Confidentiality Agreement to be able to use a “Service Address”

I called this number and I spoke to a really nice man. He asked if I knew what a Confidentiality Agreement was. I said no and he explained that there was a fee of £100. Once the form had been filled in, then it would be passed on to the Police and they would make a risk adjustment to see if there was any violence and/or harassment involved. Not even I can call junk mail harassment, it is basically to protect if you got animal right activist etc on your case.

I said to the nice man that I thought it was immoral of Companies House to sell their database to companies who will use it as a commercial tool to send out junk mail and which in turn can lead to ID thefts. He said that legislation is about to change and maybe mid-2007 there would be a change.

All of this really sucks!

And I am a saddo when it comes to this stuff ....

Abu Hamza got sentenced to 7 years

My initial reaction was relief. The system has worked and he got a reasonable lengthy sentence.

But then I was thinking further on this matter. He is going to prison and what will he meet there? It is very likely that he will be in contact with some very disillusioned men. Hamza is after all an efficient preacher and I am sure that he will do his best of the situation. I am assuming there will be no reform on his part. Will he do further recruitments in prison? To me this is very likely.

I just don’t want him to go to prison – I want him spend ALL of his time in isolation.

Then there is the 7 year sentence. Most likely, he will spend less then 7 years in prison. I read in the Metro this morning that he has been on reprimand the last 20 months and be will probably be free again in 2 years time. For once, can’t a sentence be a full sentence?

Should this man be allowed to stay in the UK after he has done his time? I hope not but the whole idea with prison is that you serve your time and then you have paid your dues. Let’s see what the Home Secretary will decide when he is due to be released. The Americans wants him extradited so it might be a stint in the US court system as well.

Metro also had an article about what the police found in the North Finchley Mosque; 100s of fake passport, chemical protection suits and a lot of other similar stuff. When Hamza took control of the mosque, about 40% of the congregation left.
I find all of this very troublesome;
It is the duty of the moderate Muslims to help dealing with the extremists – if they don’t then who will?
To store items that are going to used for criminal activities in a mosque just shows the he (and others) is using our Freedoms against us to destroy them.

To me, it is very important to get news from different sources. In the blogosphere, it is useful to read blogs from the other stance. It is uncomfortable reading. Here is one example but at least there are good comments that dispute what is written.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I did try to rip a dvd to dvd-r but it didn’t work. Copy & Paste didn’t quite work and somehow I suspected that. I need to investigate it more = my new project.

Instead I took all my photos and burned them on a CD, as back-up. I have been meaning to do that for ages but never got around to do it. I didn’t think I had that many but I used up a whole CD. Well, if that hard drive would go belly up, at least I have got the most important info saved.

*feel goody goody now* :)

Flickr.com is cool but it is not my thing to have an account, uploads etc

Soooo – when was the last time you did a back up?

And is it do-able to do a back up of my blog? Boyfriend keeps on warning me that Blogger isn’t reliable. And whatever happened last weekend, well things can go belly up.

Stressful day with one good laugh

Doing month end stuff and reconciling accounts. Normally this is just a routine procedure but this month lots of small bits that needed to be corrected. And at 16.30 I found a difference in next month Tax payment – ops. I can’t work out how that happened and it bugs me. Ah well, I got tomorrow to sort that one out. I like to have my stuff in good order.

But I had a really good laugh today at my own expenses. Damn difficult to explain in writing so I am not even going to try.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cancelled one of my credit cards today

And I had a surreal, scripted conversation doing so.

Me: Dialling the 0870 number to Lloyds TSB credit card department.

Automatic phone voice: Welcome to bla bla (no instructions). Do you want to report a card stolen?


Me: (after a while) No

Are you the principal card holder?


Me: eehhh – yes?

APV: Enter you card number

Me: xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

APV: Your four digit expire date

Me: xxxx

APV: Your date of birth

Me: xxxxxx

Silence then APV: I do not recognise the date. Try again.

Me: xxxx19xx

Your balance is £21.95 and your available balance is £3478.05 (just for example)
Press 1 if you want to hear your balance (ME: I just did!)
Press 2 if you want to … hmmm can’t remember
Press 3 is you want to speak to an Agent.


Me: Right that what I have to chose from. Must be Agent then and pressing 3

Arrived at UK based call centre where I go through the normal routine to confirm the information.

Me: I want to cancel my credit card.

Agent: I am transferring you

On hold

New Agent: Hello Ms – how can I help you? (Arrived at Non-UK Call centre)

Me: I want to cancel my Credit card. (Obviously this info have gone missing while I was on hold)

NA: Why?

Me: I am not using it anymore

NA: Do you have other credit card and/or store cards?

Me: Yes – that is why I don’t use this card anymore

NA: How much do you have in credit?

Me: None of you business

NA: Silence

Me: Silence

NA: The reason I am asking is that we have a great offer of Balance Transfer of 7%

Me: Not interested (and there my patient is gone!)

Me: It is a strange thing to say to me when I am cancelling my credit card. Why would I want to transfer any balances?

NA: Silence

Me: I guess you have to say that.

NA: Silence

NA: I have now cancelled you account. You must ensure that the outstanding balance of £21.95 is paid on time and cancel any Standing order or Direct Debit.

Me: Will you collect the outstanding balance via my Direct Debit?

NA: You must ensure that outstanding balance of £21.95 is paid on time and cancel any Standing order or Direct Debit.(said much more quicker this time around, I get the feeling that he don’t want to speak to my anymore).

Me: Noooooooo. Silence. You have to confirm to me of how I should be paying the outstanding balance since I do not want to miss any payments.

NA: Oh I don’t know. I transfer you to Customer service.

On hold.

Arrived back to the UK call centre again.

Me: How will you collect the outstanding balance?

New new Agent: Do you pay in full with Direct Debit?

Me: Yes

NnA: It will be collected at the end of the month.

Me: Ok. Thanks for your help.

NnA: Bye

Me: Bye

Me: Cutting up my Credit card in thousand and one pieces.

I don’t know what I dislike the most, Non-UK call centre with a script they have to stick to no matter what or those APV where you talk to yourself.

The reason why cancelled this card is if I don’t spend £500/annum with it then Lloyds will start adding charges – and I am allergic to pay unnecessary bank charges.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Chalk drawings by Julian Beever

The image below has been taken at the wrong angle ...

Great, eh?

Nice to see

that blogger.com is up and running again.

The penny dropped

After reading that the US State Department said it was wrong to publish the 12 cartoons – which took me completely by surprise – the penny dropped.

This whole wave of protests shows the differences between the secular countries and the non-secular countries.

The USA is on the whole a very religious country whereas Europe is not.

To me it certainly look like One-way street, the secular countries should adjust their ways of not to print anything the might possible offend any religion. This is not right, again no religion is above the Freedom of speech.

The uproar in the Arab world is that the Western world does not understand their values. Then like me ask the following, does the Arab world understand the values of the Western world? Is this a One-way street or Two-way street?

The short but armed occupation of the EU office in Gaza just dumb folds me of how incredible stupid that move was. The EU is a closer ally to the Palatinates then the rest of the Western world. Talking about biting the hand that help them and their rights.

There is also a huge element of hypocrites from the rioters. The Arab press have no problem printing caricatures of anti-Semitic pictures or of the Western World but when it is the reversed then all hell breaks loose.

As the French Foreign Minister puts it, these rioters are just proving that the cartoons are right.

There is this problem with the latest wave of terrorist claiming that they are Muslims. This is what the caricatures are point at.

I do not think that the terrorists represent the faith of Islam or representative all of the followers. But you do have to understand that the phrase “They are not Muslims” are ringing very thin these days.

Friday, February 03, 2006


I was RIGHT! Do I get a reward too?????? £200 in vouchers??

The employee of the month is one of the girls that the MD is shagging.

Being cynical can be so good sometimes.

What I am talking about? See previous post …


*yay*. It is so nice that is Friday. The weekend is soon here.

But first I have to endure a All staff meeting this afternoon with our MD to grace us with his wise words. He will be talking about the (sales)figures have to be achieved be for year end (31 March). The employee of January will be announced and given a gift. It is really an award who has licked the MDs arse the best. Maybe it will even be one of the two employees that he is shagging? Nobody has the balls to stand up to him. But the word on the street in the City is that he is more of a wannabe Citygent and carries little creditability.

I am putting my money on that VC company that own us will sell of this company. We are not profitable enough and there is no obviously light in the tunnel. The management philosophy is to have more Chiefs then Indians within the organisation.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

George Bush is doing the right (!) thing …

… but not quite for the right reasons.

In his State of the Union speech, he will seek approval for a 22% increase the funding of “for clean energy research, including nuclear and renewable energy”.

This is good news. But he is doing for the reason of being less depended of the Middle East. He is obviously not doing for the good of the planet Earth. The current level of Greenhouse gases is unsustainable and needs to be cut.

But at last, the US is moving in the right direction and this will help the environment for the whole planet.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Freedom of speech vs Religion

This is a very interesting world wide wave of emotions going on now with this issue of the cartoons that offended most of the followers of Islam.

As stated in my previous posts, I am not religious and I think the world would be a better place with no religion at all. But this is a very unlikely outcome.

My short answer to my headline is that Freedom of speech will always have precedent any time any place by my values.

This uproar & pressure by the followers of Islam is nothing more then bullying a nation, Denmark, to submitting to their values. This is wrong, very wrong.

The Followers have a right to disagree with the cartoon and have the right to voice their opinion is a sensible way. This mass hysteria with burning the Danish flag is despicable and shows a lack of holding a civil conversation. Can’t the Followers of Islam participate in ‘normal’ disagreement?

I would like to point out that it was not just the Prophet Mohammed in this cartoon, it also included other religious figures. I doubt very much that the Followers of the other religions included in this cartoon are less passionate about their religion then the Muslims but I have yet to see them go out and burn the Danish flag.

One point that I feel is completely missed by all those upset people out there; It is a C A R T O O N – nothing more.

This controversy has just lead to more people want to read the cartoon. I know I want to. If you know where I can find it, please email me: akalizze @ gmail.com (no spaces)

I could understand the protests if this would have been an editorial of derogative narrative of Islam but it isn’t. The issue is that Allah and/or Prophet Mohammed can not be pictured according to Islam. This is, I assume, followed in the states where Islam is the main and/or ruling religion. Jyllands-Posten (the daily paper that printed the cartoon) is not following the rules set in Middle East and do not have to, they are printing their paper for the 5 million Danes.

Denmark is an open and tolerant country and is allowing people of many faiths to live in their small nation. Let face it, the Middle East certainly not as tolerant to other faith as the Western world is.

I truly think that France-Soir paper did the absolute the right thing with re-printing the cartoons – in solidarity with a small paper in a small country. Bullying is never ever right.

Google News consolidation of news stories is great. I could easily access stories on both sides. One interesting article from Asia Times talks about the impressive speed the collective response by the Arab and Muslim world and ask the question why this energy is not being used to more important issues? But I have to say that the first paragraphs are rubbish with his conclusions.

The German paper Der Speigel on the other hand thinks the apology for the Muhammad-critical cartoons is unfortunate and that democratic values lost out to totalitarian ideology.

It just got worse, the owner of France Soir has fired his Editor in Cheif - see this blog. Not good at all.

is the key and the future of our world.