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How difficult can it be to hire a suit?

How difficult can it be to hire a suit?

So, the time has come to try and hire a posh suit. I can’t be the only male who has to hire a posh suit and yet hates the entire experience of shopping for clothes – so you’d have thought the male tailors would have tried to make it as easy as possible. But oh no.

Thus to Suits You Westfield. Which is a total nightmare of a shop.

  • The first time I popped in, the sales guy kept trying to get me to hire a package for the exorbitant cost of £100. And then when I refused to do so, he put the order on hold so that I could “think about it and come back tomorrow”. He said he wouldn’t be there but he assured me that someone else would be.
  • I popped in the next day. A very disgruntled and pissed-off salesperson eventually deigned to try and recreate my order, but gave up with their insanely slow systems after 20 minutes, and asked me to “come back tomorrow”.
  • The next day, neither of the salespeople I had dealt with were there, and instead there was one guy there – a right geezer of a salesman – who literally said “We can’t help you”. I asked why, and he said the store was closing down in two weeks. Strange I don’t see any sign of a Closing Down sale…

Thus, I went into another department store – and they had the opposite problem in being understaffed – thus, every time I try to pop in, the staff are rushed off their feet dealing with other customers. I’ve tried to pop in at three lunchtimes and not had much success – the one time I actually did manage to get measured, I had to wear something that was 4 sizes too small – just to see how it would look – and then realised they didn’t have the lilac waistcoat I wanted.

Online was no help – despite the smartgrooms.co.uk website claiming they could supply a suit by the desired date, when I called them it turned out they couldn’t. And I’m still waiting to hear from another website.

That’s not even getting into the outrageous cost of hiring a suit – and everyone seems to charge the same prices. If that isn’t something that deserves a complaint to the Monopoly Commission, I don’t know what does.

Why American bacon sucks…

Why American bacon sucks…




Broke Bac Mountain

Originally uploaded by iamferrettsannoyance

Aside from crisps and nachos, no food should break when you drop it on the floor.

Burnt-to-a-crisp American bacon does, as exemplified by the picture.

Delicious British oily bacon is resilient. Flexible. STRONG.

When someone foolishly drops delicious, tasty, thick, slightly oily, British bacon to the floor, it stays yummy and edible!

Blog fixed… I think…

Blog fixed… I think…

After carefully examining what I could of the HTML code in my WordPress installation, I concluded that the best way to get rid of the reported injected spam links was to “nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.” – in other words, back up the blog database, delete all WordPress files, re-install WordPress and then import the backed-up database. I had contemplated moving my blog over to somewhere else, like LiveJournal or wordpress.com but I thought I’d give Dreamhost one more chance.

Of course, I’m going to take some better precautions, as recommended by some friends. These include:

WordPress plus Dreamhost = hacked WordPress blog

WordPress plus Dreamhost = hacked WordPress blog

I host my main blog on Dreamhost, using WordPress. This may have been a fatal mistake.

A while ago, someone emailed me to kindly point out that my site had somehow been hacked, and spam links injected into my HTML code. It wouldn’t appear on the site to human eyes, but it’s all there in the HTML code and picked up by Google et. al.

I changed all my passwords (Dreamhost, WordPress, FTP), removed the hacked code and thought the problem was over.

Oh no. It’s just come back. Only this time, I can’t figure out where the code is. And since I changed all the passwords to begin with, it means that either Dreamhost or WordPress has become seriously compromised. Although naturally my Google-fu is failing me and I can’t figure out where the problem’s come from. Although this post gives one indication.

Now I’m debating whether to carry on with this blog or move to yet another blogging platform like LiveJournal or something… bah… Or I could give up. It’s been six years, after all…

Can you hear the people sing?

Can you hear the people sing?

As I speak, there is the glorious sound of a gospel choir working their way through a bunch of classic hymns and not-so-classic modern pop tunes.

This would be great, if it was not Friday at 4pm, they were on the ground floor of the building I work in and only the bottom two floors (those belonging to BBC Worldwide) are enjoying the party, complete with mince pies, wine, DJ and glitterball. In the meantime, the wage slaves up above have to – in theory – keep working.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t arrived back at the BBC just when the Christmas party limit was slashed, so my “departmental” Christmas party last week was at a bar, and consisted of some free drink – and far too late – some very unChristmassy canapes. Although I’m lucky I got to go to one at all, I suppose…

Then again, my first BBC Worldwide Christmas party was quite an eye-opener. I’d only been working for a week, and got shepherded to the party at Heaven, which included girls dancing in cages, and ice sculptures where you could drink vodka from an ice woman’s breast. This was 1997, mind you…

Bloody stupid fuel protestors

Bloody stupid fuel protestors




Kill for Fuel

Originally uploaded by Paul Hudson

Yet again, Britain’s lorry drivers are reacting to the rise in fuel-prices by launching a demonstration across London and disrupting traffic everywhere.

While I applaud and support their right to protest, their Canute-like stance against rising fuel prices (“cut the tax! It’s making us uncompetitive!”) doesn’t exactly address the reasons behind the tax rises. Sure, part of it is about raising money for the evil government – but part of it’s also about trying to encourage people not to drive so much.

What happens when petrol goes above £2 a litre? £5 a litre? That future isn’t that far away – and the more these lorry drivers try to deny the future and think about the present, the worse the problem gets. Find other ways of transporting, cut down on your costs. Or wait till the government nationalise your industry, if it is so important to the logistics of the country (which it undoubtedly is)

For these reasons, all these fuel protestors make THE LIST.

My BT battles…

My BT battles…

The move down from Manchester to London went off relatively smoothly thanks to help from a lot of friends of mine (THANK YOU!), and two men from Zimbabwe with a van. Although being trapped for two hours in a white Transit van navigating the motorways of this great nation listening to African gospel music is a tad surreal. Although it definitely beats listening to American gospel music for an hour afterwards.

The only major hitch and hurdle so far has been with my broadband supply. A week after I’ve moved in, and three weeks after I told BT that I wanted broadband in my new place, they have singularly failed to supply it, citing all sorts of daft problems, including:
– telling me that I was a business customer and would have to call a totally different helpline
– sending me an email to announce that I was now connected to broadband. Except, how would I be able to check my email without broadband access?

Until recently, I’d always recommended BT to anyone who asked, simply because the service seemed rocket-proof. Not any more.

You’d think it wouldn’t be hard to supply a broadband service to a flat that had had it the week before from the previous tenant, but apparently it’s beyond the realms of science to begin with. Not to mention they’d also managed to switch my phone off at some point! For this reason alone, BT make THE LIST.

So, alas, blog/email semi-silence will have to carry on until I get my broadband back. Not that I’m addicted or anything, oh no. I could give up any time… anytime…

Metrolink and Waterstones, you're on THE LIST

Metrolink and Waterstones, you're on THE LIST

Today, I decided that I really ought to buy a book on accessibility guidelines and web usability. Eschewing the Internet bookshop options, I thought I’d venture into Manchester Central and get the book from Waterstones. I called them, and they had it in stock, so fine. The website said they were open till 7pm, so fine. Unfortunately, the Gods would conspire against me on this.

First of all was the problem of heading into Manchester. I meandered down to the local Metrolink, bought my ticket, and waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually, a tannoy announcement said that the line was closed but there was a railway replacement service instead. Unfortunately, it had just decided to leave when the announcement was made, and thus I had to wait a long time for the long one. Then it started to rain.

The replacement bus eventually arrived, we got on, got off at the station, waited in the rain at the station till the next tram arrived, then I got off that. And walked through the rain at Manchester city centre towards Waterstones.

To find it had been closed early for a stock-take — someone could have told me that. So I had to trudge home again, repeating my journey in the pouring rain. Having not bought anything at all. The whole trip took me three hours, all in all.

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