Sunday, December 25, 2005
Hope you all got what you wanted, those that didn't or got the wrong presents, hope the person who bought the present kept the receipt so you can take it back and exchange it.
I wonder how many people will be changing their gifts in the coming week, I know I will have to be doing so as I managed to get some gifts for Z which weren't right, so back to the store to change them, just hoping the store will let me do so, given some stores are more particular than others.
But wherever you are, hope you are enjoying this festive day
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I personally find it a chore when going out, to try and find a bar where there isn't smoking going on, and the reason I look for a non smoking bar is simple, I hate smelling of fags when I get home, the smell makes me feel sick personally, and why should my health be screwed up just because someone else wants to destroy their lungs. I don't allow anyone to smoke in my home, so why am I not entitled to have a smoke free night out.
A case in example, the weekend gone, was the company xmas party, very nice place, good food, the thing that let it down, was the stench of smoke from cigs, it was foul, really foul, and I feel so sorry for those who worked in this restaurant, cause it was awful.
Right now, I am suffering a serious throat problem because of the sheer amount of smoke, it was that thick. I was fine prior to the evening, but now, not and I have the misfortune of suffering each and every time, and why should my health be at risk for someone to light up. If you want to light up, go outside. Okay in this weather that might be unpleasant, and you might not realise when to stop breathing out because it is so cold.
Why is it that in the wisdom of government, they are discussing partial ban in England, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are to bring in complete bans, but England not. When did England become the poor man of the UK, it happened when the current government came to power, with so many of them from outside England, the likes of John Reid for example, his constitutes are fine, as they have a smoking ban coming in, as well as the military which he is in charge of, but not the general public.
Passive smoking 'blindness risk'
And here is more evidence - Smoke plans 'unworkable' say MPs
Why is it the government doesn't listen to those who elected it, as well as those elected, a commons health committee says not workable, but this government wants to be stupid.
Please TB, go away and do something else less important instead, you aren't deserved of being our leader
UK poor fall to lowest since 1987
I sincerely hope that is true, but what the report shows is that the disabled in all forms of disability are the new underclass. The foundation was surprised by this, and it affected all disabled people regardless of how well educated they are. When I first read this, I was surprised as well, but then looking back on my recent experience I have had dealing with governmental bodies, looking for a job, just trying to live life as such, and I can recall numerous examples of such a situation.
For example the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions), the attitude of the staff in many of the jobcentre plus places is awful, quite simply awful. They have no understanding of deafness, they constantly have the disabled toilets out of action, so any poor wheelchair bound person isn’t able to go to the toilet, if they need to. They have also in their amazing wisdom decided now that if you suffer the misfortune of becoming unemployed, you have to call up a line to get assigned a reference and then they will decide to then consider your case. Mmm, did someone forget to tell them that deaf people find using a phone very difficult, especially when someone has a strong accent, and guess where a lot of the call centres are, that is right in locations where peoples accent are very thick and heavy, meaning that likes of myself struggle to understand a damn word being said.
I also have suffered the situation with the NHS lack of funding, getting a hearing aid is very difficult to do with cutbacks, and it is made all the worse, by the fact that a lot of staff aren’t able to give hearing aids that are of use, which brings me to a sideline point, just what the hell are the RNID doing with this -
Millions urged to check hearing
Have they not been reading about all the cutbacks in the NHS, especially in audiology departments? While I applaud their efforts to raise awareness of people not hearing properly, I think maybe they should be sure that the NHS actually has sufficient funding to cope. What are they going to do with the adverts – Add a disclaimer at the end that says, “We aren’t responsible for the fact that your local NHS audiologist isn’t going to be available every day, you can only go 2 half days a week – Good luck”
To top it all off, there are a lot of employers out there that don’t want disabled people working for them. I know this to my own, when I was looking for work previously. In my case, wearing gold ear moulds possibly didn’t help matters, but it shouldn’t and doesn’t make a difference to my abilities, but try telling that to employers. I have had the misfortune in the past where the interview has been brought to an abrupt end, just for what seems to be no reason, and when you get feedback, you know full well there is no good reason, other than they clocked my hearing aids and all of the sudden I am not good enough, despite minutes earlier I was good enough. You can tell it in the manner of questioning, as well as their body language.
I am not optimistic that things are going to change anytime soon. All of the discrimination boards are being merged into a single one, which I am sure is going to be for cutbacks, and it isn’t as if the discrimination acts are tough enough as it is, especially as this government is exempt from its own laws, mmm, to me that doesn’t inspire confidence if they aren’t tied to it as well.
Plus as it is rising not falling, it can only get worse, not better. The inequalities in the UK for the disabled are getting worse and with the government push on the IB (Incapacity Benefit), you can see it get even worse. One has to think that things are going along the lines of putting disabled people into institutions which happened even after WW2, so one has to think the likes of this government are doing their level best to ensure that disabled people are without a voice.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
So now we are hearing the likes of Slade, Wizzard, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Jona Lewie, Pogues, just to mention a few. If anyone knows UK music and can name the tracks attributed to the above, be interesting to know.
I know poor Z has to suffer these and much more at Selfridges at the moment and I am sure by the end of it she will cringe more and more when Slade and others come up again. Just thankful I haven’t seen anyone do a Noddy yet and scream it’s Christmas, but it is early days.
I had a brain bypass at the weekend and decided to go shopping, and on Oxford street as well, I know I must have been nuts, but I was looking for a present for Z, which I failed spectacularly to find, such a bummer too. But I swear, the place was more packed than normal and just seeing places like Selfridges jammed packed, and seeing people hand over credit cards so easily, makes me think that there is going to be a serious financial hangover come New Year.
This year is going to be a low key Christmas for me, certainly different plans than I had originally expected, Z is going to be here for one, which is going to be great for me, as it was so unexpected, but the main reason she is, is because she is working Boxing day, which is a shame for her. Plus family situation also means it just won’t be a big deal made of it, I think we will be grateful to be around and have some time together.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Seen more places of complaints against this company, I am struck by how hard it is to find a good word about them.
The following will make happy reading for many who have suffered Pixmania, I did a little jig around the room when I read this
Breach of UK law
All I can say is about bloody time Trading Standards.
Another person’s sites I found, this one comes straight to the point, and I am so glad to see this site and I hope this site gets high enough up the listing so that when someone searches for Pixmania they find it at number one in the list.
Realm of Dobermann
Even more examples of the screwed up attitude of Pixmania, and not just in the UK
This will run and run for the company and I do hope there is a big public flogging of them, the least they deserve for doing all they have done. Maybe it is about time BBC Watchdog had them on to explain themselves, but knowing Pixmania they would just refuse to comment.
In my situation, they have finally relented after being badgered by IMRG, so thank you to them, and they have taken the camera back to actually fix it this time, well so they say, it went yesterday, and now we have to hope they actually bother to sort it out. The number of times things have gone wrong, and how often their words are empty promises, means I am on hold, in the hope that maybe after 3 months it might finally be resolved, though no thanks to them themselves, but due to the pressure of myself and IMRG.
Sadly the item is still in transit according to the UPS website, which isn’t good news to say the least, especially as UPS left it to the last minute to pick it up, 5 minutes to 5pm, mmmm, urgent wasn’t it!!
Now all we can do is sit and wait and hope they actually get it and then do as they said they were going to do, which is fix the bloody camera, which is want we asked for 3 months ago.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Me and Z decided as we both like badminton and though we both hadn't played in some time it would be a good thing to do together and also a chance for the pair of us to get fit and healthy, well healthier and fitter, we aren't too bad, despite the fact I seem to be carring an extra load these days around my gut area.
1 hour of badminton, it wasn't too bad for me, I managed to do quite well, sweating a great deal mind, but still doing a good game, poor Z was run around the court quite a lot, and I am so glad we didn't play for points, poor love might have been a little pissed with me if we had. I was honest in saying I wasn't very good and hadn't played in a long time, but it came back to me reasonably quickly. One thing I will say about Z, she can hit the shuttlecock very hard and if she can get some direction on it more often, I know I will be staring the shuttlecock in the face more often.
Z is very sore today, she aches all over, poor love. She is really feeling it, hopefully it won't put her off doing it again, as we both really enjoyed it, as we should do. I think we both probably needed to stretch a little more than we did, but still a great hour of running around and making ourselves absolutely knackered.
It was on the way back from the game, I felt it in my legs and Z felt it once we got back to the house, so well worth it though.
Wrist held up reasonably well, a little tender and sore today, but they said to hold off for a few months before playing the game, but hopefully now it will get used to the wrist action you have to use in badminton, better do, cause my game depends on a flick of the wrist.
Long overdue we both agreed and hopefully we can sort our schedules out again soon and get another game, this time maybe I will keep score, though I have to be careful.
Maybe me and Z can find other sports we both like and do more, exercising with another really makes a difference and a lot easier to do it as well.
Monday, November 07, 2005
I got them up finally, took a bit of work, not the bookcases themselves, they really were quite easy to do, but following the instructions and trying to do exactly what it said, mmm, that was a bit harder. The width of my doors in the house are narrower than the bookcases so when it said I had to turn them over I couldn't do it properly and I couldn't lay them flat, as there isn't enough space in my study to do that, as the door is narrow, the study itself is quite narrow as well, so after a lot of huffing and puffing, I managed to work a system out by bringing them upright and then on their sides again, eventually managing to get the bookcases built.
Then came the worrying part, they need to be screwed into the wall, or lets say attached to the wall with the anti-wobble device, which is just a bracket screwed into the bookcase and the wall. The walls in my house, are blown all over, so was fearful I would end up with a bunch of holes like I had previously, trying to find a spot where there wasn't a blown bit of plaster. The gods must have been smiling on me, cause I got lucky twice, and now the bookcases are attached to the walls with the device and saves a bit of wobble as long as no one tries to be spiderman I am okay.
They look good in the study, it looks tidier and more compact as well, the only downside is that my skirting boards are quite high as the house is quite old, over 100 years old, and the skirting boards are much higher than newer houses, so it means the bookcases are not flushed against the wall as they would be because the lip on the bookcases isn't high enough, but otherwise a great product and quick and simple to put together and I am dead pleased with them as well, so at least I don't have to worry about my other half feeling like I am making the study a mess.
The first of them is the top of the list at pathetic non existent customer service, the old annoyance – Pixmania, this company know how to take the piss, really badly. This company said that they would repair a camera that was under warranty, a 2 year warranty that they clearly state on their website and all their literature requires the original invoice, which we have. They in their amazing wisdom, held onto the camera for 7 weeks, now pushing the warranty close to expiry and they did nothing with the camera and just sent it back with a French letter explaining the situation, after a lot of work and translation, don’t they know when it is delivered back to London I am high unlikely to speak French, they said that I shouldn’t used rechargeable batteries…. You what, I asked for it to be fixed because the camera is taking a handful of pictures before it says it needs new batteries. We made that clear when handing it in and even now they are managing to try and deflect the attention away from a piss poor customer service, and blame the manufacturers, when it has nothing to do with them, and all to do with Pixmania, who have after 8 weeks finally responded to a pushing from the IMRG, and their response will leave you laughing
I'm sorry to hear that Canon have failed to repair your product. Please accept our apologies on their behalf for the terrible inconvenience.
I have been told that you are sending your camera directly to Canon.
This is by no means normal procedure since Pixmania are providing the second year of the warranty, not Canon, and Pixmania deal with Canon France, not Canon UK. However, it will be quicker and easier to do it this way. They should issue you with an estimate for repairs.
As soon as you have it, please scan it and email it me, or fax it to me.
Please accept our apologies for the delay and for the incurred inconvenience.
Mr Yann STEVENS
After Sales & Returns - UK & Scandinavia
This person hasn’t even bothered to try and ensure that they are making sure that they know about the situation involved. Not once did we say that Canon was the issue, the issue is with Pixmania not bothering to fix the camera, and not bothering to ensure that their staff communicate with each other if nothing else, and can this Mr.Stevens even be bothered to give a direct phone number, not a chance.
So Pixmania, you haven’t a clue with your customers, and I will never ever use your sorry store and website ever again, all I want is the camera working properly, so either fix it, refund the money or replace the camera with a new one, which ever way I don’t care, but this isn’t to carry on, and why do you constantly refuse to communicate with your customers, unless they bring in the IMRG, trading standards, et al.
This sadly isn’t the only company that feels it is should be closing its ears to it customers, another one is a company called BangCd. This company has a very poor customer service. A cd was ordered from them, that was to be released on the 25th October, and still two weeks on, nothing, I have had to send a number of emails, and all I got from them was, we are awaiting to get the cd, yet they have had the money for the disc now for a few weeks, and they are also refusing to respond to emails sent as to what the status is of the cd and when I will actually receive the cd, all of which ensures I will never recommend the company to anyone and will also ensure my money never goes to them again.
This list goes on, MFI is another one. This company I ordered from had a delivery date set and lo and behold the delivery day comes and goes and no delivery is made. Their excuse, the system screwed up, so now I have to wait another 6 weeks before the delivery might turn up, and I stress the word might. So this company will have had my money for 3 months before I get the order I paid for back in September, expecting a delivery 2 weeks ago, and the most they could say was sorry, well not good enough, these things are not acceptable, and how is it you can take the money but can’t produce the goods, mmmm, shoddy accounting, shoddy systems, and no compensation, no nothing for time taken off work for awaiting a delivery, no nothing. Again another company whom should treat its customers better.
Another big name, Tesco, this company has been of late really causing me aggravation. Just to cite one example, I unfortunately have a very poor quality Tesco locally to where I live, all the talk of them being something good, I seriously disagree with. I use biological washing liquid to clean my clothes and use Bold 2 in 1 woodland variety. Well my local Tesco stopped stocking it, so wondering where it was, I asked staff as to the situation, only to be told it wasn’t made anymore, having access to the internet and thinking that is odd, contacted Proctor and Gamble direct via the Bold 2 in 1 website and found that Tesco had decided to tell a few fibs, great news. As far as Proctor and Gamble knew they were still sending the stuff to Tesco and so couldn’t explain why the local one couldn’t and weren’t stocking it. Sadly Proctor and Gamble don’t sell directly, but if they did I would be purchasing it so, instead of relying on an increasing useless local Tesco store.
Lastly, though I wouldn’t say sadly after all the hassle this company has caused me in the last few months – Abbey. Ever since they have been taken over by Santander, things have been going wrong, very wrong. Like everyone who lives in the UK, one has to pay council tax, and so I have now filled in a couple of direct debit forms which the council have got correct, as I doubled check the information they have, and yet Abbey in their wisdom have repeatedly not set the dd up. Why, I don’t know, all they keep saying it is the council’s fault, and of course the council say it the bank’s fault. Given I have sent a couple of direct debit forms, you have got to say the blame has to rest at the door of the bank now, because how many times do I need to send in a form for them to get it right. This is the same bank whom when I wanted to open a savings account, demanded to know how much money I was earning despite the fact it has nothing to do with opening a savings account, and they do have my wages going in there anyway, so joined up thinking. I told them flat no, and they weren’t happy, though they claim it is to do with the new laws, that is false, as the new laws don’t ask to know how much money one earns, they don’t need that for security checks. Again another case of Santander bringing in rules that are not needed and being over zealous.
When I was young, I was brought up with the notion that the customer is king, and if the customer wants something then you give the customer that if you can supply it. These days, most companies it seems can’t be bothered, and don’t care if you disappear or don’t get what you want.
Now I can’t finish an entry like this without giving the names of companies who actually provide a brilliant customer service and who I would recommend any time to get goods from. One is a company called CD Wow , these people are very quick to respond to queries, and they also ensure that when they say it will be delivered in a set period it turns up, very good.
Another is a company called Advanced MP3 Players , I got my iRiver from them, and they were nothing but 100% professional, these people are the bee’s knees as far as I am concerned. They matched their site in terms of delivery being when they said it would, they have provided very good after sales customer service, a company always worth a visit if buying gadgets.
Two internet related companies which have given nothing but great service are Eclipse Internet , my ISP, always quick to respond and fix anything that goes wrong and the other is Giganews , a newsgroups provider. They have ensured every time my queries are answered within 24 hours, that is serious service and why I have stayed with them now for over 5 years, always been happy with their service.
The last is a company called CD-RMedia , the place I always get my blank DVDs from, quick service, if not in stock they can 9 times out of 10 tell you when it will be in stock and they are a good price too.
So it can be done, those are just five that show it can be done, there are more of course, but why is it that companies of the like of Pixmania, manage not to be shut down I don’t know.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Thankfully I have it.
Here are reviews from elsewhere first before I say my two bits
A la Mode again
Depeche Mode - Playing the Angel
I have found this album to be better and better the more I listen to it. I must say I am not a fan of the imagework for the album, but that isn't that important, though I would have liked something better to the eye, but whatever suits the lads.
The best song personally is Precious, it was right to be released as the single, the first two tracks also for me go well - A Pain That I'm used to, John the Revelator. Damaged People was an interesting track to say the least, Lilian was a very good track as well.
Didn't think much of Macro, Suffer Well.
There really isn't a lot to say, I think this is an album that takes time to get into, I have until April to really get into it, as that is when the concert is, as the newly refurbished Wembley Arena, which I hope they have put decent soundproofing, after all the locals have been complaining about the noise of the music in recent years, well you do choose to live next door to the place.
All I would say on the album, if you know someone with a copy listen to it, if you do like the electro stuff, the likes of Goldfrapp, etc, and see how you get with the album, I think it is good, but not their best one. That still remains for me to be Violator.
This government has managed in its typical fashion to screw up what should have been possibly the easiest piece of legislation to develop and pass.
You ask the public, if they want a ban on smoking in public, and the large majority will say yes, so it isn’t hard to create legislation that makes that happen, surely. Well in this government, that is the case, it was too hard for them.
They tried to find compromises because of certain ministers whom happen to come from outside of England, and those ministers country’s are going to ban smoking, but because of said minister – John Reid being one of them, England and lets be clear about this, England is not going to have a smoking ban, instead it is going to try and bring in a mish mash of legislation that will mean absolutely nothing, and is going to be impossible to enforce.
I am really angry about this, because again this government has completely managed to throw away a good opportunity to do something with zeal and with a clear head, and give the people what they want. Why is it possible for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland to have proper bans, but due to a certain number of ministers not acting with the people in mind, we are to suffer further.
I hate going out and coming home smelling of an ashtray, because there are so few bars/pubs/restaurants in London that are smoke free, and what beats me is why it is that London can’t be like New York, Dublin, and San Francisco. Why it is that we are so far behind the rest of the civilised world, a city that is supposed to be a leading light, is being let down so badly by this government yet again. This government is showing how old and tired it is, and is badly in need of being changed and stopping the country being short changed so much.
For me, I am hoping that the Mayor will ignore this legislation and push for a complete ban in London, and get all those people who want to go out, but refuse to put up with the smoke, and being able to enjoy what London does have to offer. It should be a city where non-smoking is the default position, not the second option
Offical line from the government
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Got my OU ED209 exam finished and boy am I glad to have that over and done with. I pray I have done well enough to get the 40% to pass, because this course has left me more than sore mental, and it left me so bored by the end, I felt like throwing it all in.
Despite that, I have signed up for next year part, which is D317, for the last time it is running, and I am doing so that I can try and finish by the end of 2007. Got to save up first to afford the final year course, which is going to be at least £900/1000, so that won't be easy, but first things first and then I can see what happens.
Just be on tender hooks come December as to how well I did in the exams, was never the best at exams, but I just hope I did okay
Monday, October 24, 2005
In my case, Z, took a digital camera she had brought in to be fixed as it was within the time allowed, they told her to wait up to 4 weeks for it to come back and it would be sent to her. Well we are in week 6, still nothing. The list of screw ups, gets larger and larger. They took our address down incorrectly, so instead of the house number being written down as 30, which it is, they wrote 20, should have seen this as the first of many many problems.
Repeated phone calls to their customer service line which is a national rate number, has given us no more information than we had 6 weeks ago. They leave you hanging on the phone when you call them, and with a national rate number, that means a £1 for about 10 minutes, not cheap, especially when you are chasing their mistakes, and their total lack of communication. We have asked repeatedly for updates and all they can do is say, well we will send an email to them in France, well that ain't enough, do more. How about you give me the name of the idiot in France so I can rip them for a complete lack of customer service and for the fact, that withholding a good that is mine, is actually not acceptable.
For anyone else who has had to suffer Pixmania and would like to find a way to complain, I have some ideas, though, not sure how effective, but if all do it then maybe something will happen, like them losing license in this country. I have the email address for the trading standards in Fulham and Hammersmith, and if you wish it, leave a message as a comment, with the email address and I am more than happy to post it to you with the persons name, so that the more people complain the better. It is also known on many other websites how poor Pixmania are.
They have managed to successfully have negative comments about them removed from some sites, by threatening them, well, surely the best thing would be to actually fix the problem, rather than deny a problem exists. It is only a problem to Pixmania if it weren't true, but the hundreds of negative comments I have seen and which I add my name to the list of, shows how pathetic this company is. If anyone knows the name of the customer service manager, I would appreciate it, I have tried through all various search engines to find it, no joy. I got one name whom I am intending to write one hell of a nasty letter to - Ulrich Jerome, Managing Director (France and N.Europe), to actually kick this person up the backside in the hope that they actually might bother to do something, though I am guessing not. And if anyone from Pixmania reads this, they should also read some of the following to realise it isn't just one person, it is multiples, like
Pixmania - Buyer BEWARE
Pixmania - More Problems
Pixmania - Even more problems
How they are rated by so many consumers
Pixmania have made it clear by my experience and many many others they don't care about customers. Well I think it is about time, they realised they should do, because sites like this one, and many many others, don't say something is wrong, unless they are hard done by, and Pixmania don't know the meaning of customer service.
If anyone has any names of the MD, CEO, customer service manager of this pathetic company that I can write a letter of complaint to, so that I can try and get the camera back, hopefully actually bloody repaired which is why it went in, in the first place, I would so much appreciate it, cause that is over £200 of my money they have which I can't seem to get back because they are refusing to say what is happening to the camera, and even where it is.
So again incase it wasn't clear through reading this, buyer BEWARE of this company whom are all around Europe, they aren't worth the time, effort and money, find someone who will actually do what they say, and for example deliver in 24 hours like they say they would, unlike this lot, 2 weeks later.
Nothing they say seems to be a truth and so again BEWARE of them
It is incredulous in this day that they are unable to keep to timetable, and are allowed to impact on the morning rush hour, like this morning where there were no Piccadilly trains until 7.30am, why because of engineering works.
I think the proposal of where the company is fined £100,000 for every 5 minutes overrun, will sharpen their minds and their attitudes to actually getting the work done as they should. Plus it also means that the Tube has more money to help compensate those who are severely affected by the delays, or if all runs well, there is a better service for the commuter.
In recent weeks the private companies who won the PPP contracts, have shown a complete and utter contempt for the fact they are supposed to be ensuring a service is run, not just doing what they please, when and if they can be bothered.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Z decided that it would be a good idea to try and balance on the ladder and try to reach, sadly Z isn't quite tall enough to do it, so I ended up trying to despite a dodgy wrist and trying to reivse for the exams as well, as I feared Z would end up in A+E with a cracked skull, and me probably being given a ticking off from my mother let alone Z's mother.
Z has a tendancy to be quite fearless in situations like this stretching out to clean a window, Z even decided to climb on the outhouse to clean one of the back windows and this is with the outhouse roof not being in the best state, and not 100% dry either.
Don't get me wrong I am very appreciated of all of Z's effort, very much so, the windows look better, though being a man, not sure I notice these things like Z does. What I was more concerned about, was the thought of taking Z to A+E sitting there for hours on end, due to crap NHS, explaining away to people why I even let Z be so fearless in something that seems to be of little importance. Granted it means a lot to Z, and I understand that, but it just reminds me of the black knight in Monty Python, still trying to take on the knights despite having no arms and legs, and shouting come here, I will bite you. Z has a level of fearlessness like that, nothing will stop Z at all, no heights, no it is difficult to reach, or I might crack my skull on the concrete below, who cares. Seriously, it was me that was panicking more than Z was. Z was like, it is no big deal.
I am the one who is supposed to take care of Z, ensure all is well, ensure that injuries, damage, etc is minimal whilst Z is in London, and all Z can do is put Z in positions which could easily lead to such injuries.
I feel like nominating Z as my own black knight, and let Z take on any intruders, etc, they wouldn't last two seconds with Z I am sure of it. Me I would probably still be asleep not hearing any of the commotion......
I have only had the player a couple of days, so far, I haven’t upgraded the firmware, as it will mean the volume will be even less, and I am not aware of any hack I can do that will allow me to have the volume I have right now. On the player it goes from 0 to 40, well I am pushing 30/35 on most tracks. Z has listened to it as well, and found if it went above 20 it was too loud, a perfect case of my ears really being screwed, and whilst there might be an argument that I should have it low to protect my ears, a point that would be okay, if I could hear the damn thing on 20 in the first place.
For me this player is much better than the others on the market, what I found out just prior to getting it, is that it can play video and has been able to do so since May when the last version of the firmware was brought out, just I haven’t added that yet, might do, we will see. It is really nice for me, as I like the styling, it isn’t too bulky, it is just right, plenty of features, and as I am not a fan of Apple, it isn’t the iPod, so a big bonus for me.
This is the spec
Another bonus is that it has a radio, which isn’t that common with a lot of players, though I know the creative player has one as well.
I am happy with it though and though I wish it was a little louder, I am told that others can hear it when I have it the volume I do, yet I don’t hear it too much, but I know if I had other players I would probably be even worse off.
If I was to recommend a player it would be the iriver h340, that is of course personal, and for me I am not keen to follow the herd, this stands me out as different and the fact it is packed with so many features in comparison to other players make me very happy of course.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Right now I am saying I would just be happy with a pass, but I know me, if I got just a pass I would be very unhappy. So I am hoping I got at least 50%, though I think if I get between 50-70%, I would have done relatively well, given I hate exams at the best of times.
Have to wait until some time in December, but in the meantime, it is back to the books for the second of my exams on the 21st, for ED209 a subject which I and many others have come to detest over this year, as a right royal pain in the butt.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Death of author of The Road Less Travelled
I myself have read this book in past years and actually found it to be a good read along with other books for various reasons. I was introduced to it by a friend of mine and they felt it would be a good read as well as maybe helping. It certainly gave food for thought and I think any book that can do that, has to be worth reading.
If you ever find yourself in a position where you are questionning life and the value of it, it would do no harm to read this book. The link above says a lot about the author most of which I didn't know until reading the article and it certainly shows the book in a different light. Nice to know that people can have their vices and still hand out advice.
CD BONG 35
Precious - Album Version – Very good, much better than some of the songs they have started with previously for an album release. Very smooth, not very rocky, more back to the electro style they are known for.
Precious - Sasha’s Spooky Mix (Single Edit) – Not my style, not a strong mix in my mind, maybe suits the younger people, with their love of the current style of music, but for me not a strong mix
LCD BONG 35
Precious - Sasha’s Gargantuan Vocal Mix – Not much to say about this at all. I have to say the Sasha mixes are not one that have grabbed at all, but then I am used to the past mixes that DM had which were very good in most instances. They have dropped off a little in the past.
Precious - Misc. Full Vocal Mix – Of the mixes so far, this is the best one, but still leaves a bit to be desired, it is a shame, I had hoped for more.
Free – Not a bad b side, if you can call it b side these days.
DVD BONG 35
Precious – Video – Like this video, quite geeky mind, a lot of computer graphics, but still like the look of the video. Not done by Anton Corbijn, which surprised me a little bit, not that I don’t like the video, I just still thought they had a close relationship with Anton and he did their videos like in the past.
Precious – Motor Mix – like this, good mix, actually, not too bassy, and an overall a good mix.
Precious – Michael Mayer Ambient Mix, another not bad mix, but can’t have it all.
I must say overall I think disc 3 possibly is the better of them all, but then that is just one person’s opinion. If you like DM a lot, then you would be wise to get all three, to add to your collections, but if you had to choose one, I would take the DVD BONG 35, as this is the better of all three.
Looking forward to the 17th October when the new album ‘Playing the Angel’ comes out. I think I might pre-order this, not 100% sure yet, but it would probably mean I would have to wait a couple of days to get it, but at least it would be cheaper than through HMV, Virgin, etc.
On the seventh day, America went to court
I am a fan of the USA and there are some things they can do really well, technology is one thing that springs to mind, as well as some really good TV as well. But in recent years they are going down a road in terms of religion and science in particular that is worrying especially as the US is seen as a world leader in so many things. To me it seems like the puritan past is coming back with a vengeance.
It makes me laugh that there is such a debate between evolution and creationism. We in Europe settled this over 100 years ago when Darwin managed to convince us that evolution exists and has played a major part in how we are where we are now.
This thought that creationism should be taught as a science in schools is extremely damning of a country that was seen as a forerunner for so much science in the past. I actually pity anyone who studies in certain states where they are denouncing evolution; any science related studies you can imagine are going to be worthless to most of the outside world.
What is more scary is that there are creationist museums which show humans existing with dinosaurs. Like what is that, come on, that isn’t feasible in any shape or form, it is well known we wouldn’t have been around then. The movie 1 million years BC is a movie not reality. You do have to ask how intelligent the people pushing intelligent design are, seriously. It is almost a sketch from Bill Hicks about how un-evolved these folks are, how close together their brows are.
Here is some of the stats from the article, scary reading
The American world view
64 per cent of people questioned for a recent poll said they were open to the idea of teaching creationism in addition to evolution in schools, while 38 per cent favoured replacing evolution with creationism.
40 per cent of Americans believe God will eventually intervene in human affairs and bring about an end to life on Earth, according to a survey carried out in 2002. Of those believers, almost half thought this would occur in their lifetime with a return of Jesus from heaven.
1 adult American in five believes that the Sun revolves around Earth, according to one study carried out last summer.
80 per cent of Americans surveyed by the CNN TV news network believe that their government is hiding evidence of the existence of space aliens.
70 per cent believe it likely that Saddam Hussein was involved personally in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Looking at these you would seriously think 20% at least of Americans are seriously uneducated. We have proven the Earth goes around the sun, yet still there are people whom think that it is the other way around, next they will be saying the earth is flat. I do have wonder just of those 1 in 5 Americans who believe the sun revolves around the earth are from the south. Bad Stereotype maybe, but you are left wondering. And this is also a country that has nukes, mmm, not a good combination.
It makes for worrying thoughts, that such a country as the US can be like this, not a good thing at all.
Key gene 'may reverse hair loss'
As for anyone who foresees baldness happening to them, any chance to reverse it, even a little bit has to be a good thing, though with my hair being of the thin type in the first place, I can't imagine there will be a lot to recover anyway. Thankfully it hasn't taken too much of a hold yet, but I can see the years of receding hairline catching up until the point I either look like a monk, which I think isn't the style of baldness I will have, or a Phil Collins look. Rest assured I will not be doing a Bobby Charlton comb over, which previous generations of my family managed to do with way too much success.
Dogging or blogging
I won't go into explaining the differences other than to say usually when you blog you aren't expecting an audience there and then, and no steamy windows either unless you are blogging in some odd location.
It certainly shows that terms many of us think as everyday aren't getting through to the average Joe on the street.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
She was looking so pretty, classy, and made a great impression on my family. I hadn’t seen my brother and his wife in about a year, so we had a lot of catching up to do, and finding out how things are in Malaysia compared to here in London, finding out about a lot of different things, how the rules are very different, more strict in Malaysia in a lot of ways, but also a lot lot lot cheaper to live there. A better standard of living it seems especially for those who are educated, unlike in this country.
The family do went very well, it was a great night, apparently I managed to run the show, which is a bit like when I appeared on TV with the family, and I dominated proceedings then, not intentionally, but it just seems to happen. I am usually a wallflower in most social situations, so I don’t know why.
The best bit of it all, is that Z was very well received by the family, they love her, they think she is a really lovely lady, just perfect for me, which matches my feelings so I am more than happy
I got two letters and here they are in their fullness with names covered to protect the innocent!!
Further to your e-mail to XXX on 16th August 2005 I am pleased to inform you that the investigation into your concerns has now been completed and I am, therefore, in a position to enclose our response from XXX, General Manager for our Cardiology directorate.
I hope that you will be satisfied that a full investigation has been conducted and that XXX has outlined the action she intends to take to improve the situation in Cardiology.. However, if you are not happy with our response or if you require further information please do not hesitate to contact XXX on XXX to discuss your complaint further or if you prefer do write to me again. We can also arrange a meeting to discuss our response to your complaint if you would find this a more suitable way forward.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Local Resolution process you are entitled to go to the second stage of the NHS complaints procedure and request that your complaint is considered by the Healthcare Commission. This should be done within 2 months of the date of the final response from the Trust. You should write to the Complaints Investigation Team at the Healthcare Commission, FREEPOST NAT 18958, Manchester, M1 9XZ or contact them on tel: 0845 601 3012 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to discuss any of these options you are welcome to contact the Patient Relations Office on 020 8869 2026, or alternatively if you would prefer independent advice regarding the NHS Complaints Procedure please note that that you may contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) on telephone number: 0845 120 3784.
I hope this is helpful.
Many thanks for your email to XXX, dated 16 August 2005, in which you express your concern regarding your experiences with the Cardiology Department. As the General Manager for the Department, XXX passed your email to me to investigate. I hope you find the following comments helpful.
As you quite rightly state, a six month delay in the typing of an urgent referral letter is inexcusable and I can only apologise that this occurred and assure you that I will not allow such a situation to occur again. Administratively, the Cardiology Department has been short-staffed for some time, and various correspondence has been delayed, but the worst back-log situation occurred in relation to XXX’s clinic letters. I have recently started as the new General Manager and one of my key tasks was to sort this situation out.
Firstly, I have made two permanent appointments within the admin team so only one temporary member of staff is still working in the Department and all posts are now covered. I have also out-sourced the typing of the XXX back-log and all the letters will have been completed within the next 2 weeks. Today, I started a month's free trial, with the same typing company, to handle all of the clinic letter typing. The company guarantee a 48 hour turn around time, or no charge is made. I am hopeful that this will provide a cost effective, efficient system. In parallel with this, we are also looking at using short, proformas for straightforward patients, to reduce the volume of typing, and making sure that all clinic letters contain a clear management plan. Additionally, the Trust is looking closely at voicerecognition technology, so this aspect of the service will be changing significantly.
I am also very sorry that your 24 hour tape was lost. In actual fact it appears that the tape was not lost as such, but the results were not saved correctly on the analyser machine. When some new analysers were introduced into the Department there were some training issues with the staff and unfortunately some results were lost. This has now been addressed with all of the technicians and all are now fully au fiat with the new machines.
I hope that this adequately addresses your concerns and I am very sorry that you have had such a bad experience with the Department. If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know.
General Manager, Cardiac Services
As you can see a nice response, but one that I can't be sure will fix the problem, and one that doesn't really help the situation what happened in the first place.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Well let me tell you that to get a national insurance number in this country is nigh on impossible.
I know of a person who has spent all week trying to get one, and is looking to work in this country and wants to be working officially, paying tax, NI, etc, being above board in all ways.
Firstly they have to ring a number, when they finally got through, as the line was either engaged or no one could be bothered to answer, they then got told to ring another number. After trying for a day to get through, they managed some success and got through, only to be told to ring a third number. They then set about ringing that third number which was engaged for 3 days, 3 days I tell you, no matter how hard they tried or even I tried when assisting them, neither of us could get through, that is how crap it is.
So being the ever resourceful person, this person is, they decided to see if they could get around the problem on my suggestion by going to the local jobcentre as this would have to be where they would have the appointment/interview for the national insurance number. The local jobcentre proceed to tell them that they have to ring a number and get an appointment, which was already known, after explaining that they have spent days trying to get through, they are told, sorry we can’t help that, and only on insistence by this resourceful person did they get the address of the jobcentre where they will have to have the interview/appointment when they are fortunate enough to get through, if ever. It isn’t local, it is a good way away, why it isn’t being done local I don’t know, though there is a rumour they are closing the ones that are local to the person, mmmm, that seems clever, and all because they are moving everything possible to call centres, see other blog entries for more details.
None of which takes into account the problems one has in getting through, and it also assumes that each person can hear on the phone and can get through a long phone call. I am just one person who struggles on a phone, so how in hell would I be lucky enough to get anything now, typical really that this government is making sure that anyone who needs anything they are being shut out of their entitlement.
Anyway back to the main thrust of this blog entry. The person still doesn’t have an appointment, is still unable to get through on the phones, and is getting more and more distressed and frustrated at what is quite simply a bloody farce. We should be encouraging people to have NI numbers so that we get them to pay tax and NI, it should be of paramount importance. These people can’t claim for 2 years at least, so what are the government worried about, what running out of numbers to give people, come on, that can’t be it, and I have to wonder what it could be.
Any European who wants to work in the UK and their country is a member of the EU is allowed to work here, and should be encouraged to do so, especially if they are intending to be above board and be 100% legit, pay taxes, NI, etc. So why is our totally inept government wanting to ensure that these Europeans go through a process which isn’t easy, where they could be led around the houses and still end up where they started. There is no way for them to complain, trust me I looked on the DWP, JobCentrePlus and even HM Customs and Revenue sites to try and do so, not a damn thing, so basically they are untouchable, unaccountable, and worst of all letting money disappear by the sheer ineptness of this.
It isn’t difficult to do, to issue an NI number, it is I believe computer generated based on date of birth, name, place, etc, so it takes what, 5 minutes to do, not exactly a taxing job, and not exactly rocket science. My guess is that they have just one person manning the phone for the whole country, and that is it, either that or they simply take them off the hook when they get to work and pretend they are doing something.
Once I find whom to complain to, I will be passing the information on to the person and thus they can make a complaint, as this is simply unacceptable in this day and age to be unable to get through and to have spent 5 days ringing a line, and still have no joy. Bring me the head of David Blunkett as it is his job as the minister for the DWP to ensure these cock-ups don’t occur.
Metronet reaches a milestone in tube modernisation programme
I was amazed, one of the PPP companies, in this case – Metronet, have actually made savings and will supposedly make maintenance of the trains, rails, stations, etc much much better. I will hold on to see if this really happens, but I have to congratulate them for at least trying to condense the wide variety of systems that they inherited into a single system which makes it easier to find out the current health of the system. This is a good example of how things can be done correctly.
This shows some of the history prior to reaching this point.
IT takes the tube into 21st century
£150m upgrade to Underground
What makes this situation worse is that, the government won’t let the National Audit Office make sure these signed contracts ensure the people of the country get good systems, and good value for money, and then we end up with more and more horror stories like this which could easily be avoided, by either, having in house teams develop the projects, which in the long term would save the government a lot of money, or they could which would be a wise thing, penalise these overpaid consultants and companies when they get it wrong.
If a company says they will deliver a system on a certain date, and to a certain spec, and then it all goes belly up, well in most private businesses you either don’t pay the company, or you penalise them in some way, yet all our government does is throw more money at it, and not hold to account the companies that don’t do what they sign up to do. In this case it is EDS, whom are not meeting the targets and aren't being penalised for it.
Benefits system slammed
London Eye rent row heads to the High Court
Hollick speaks out on London Eye rent
These stories show the attitude of the man, and I do so so hope that he doesn’t end up forcing an iconic structure on our landscape to be lost, simply because he is being a money grabbing moron. He fails to account in his sums just how much money the area is gaining from the eye being there, and that includes the SBC, which has seen its turnover increase ever since the eye has been running. Talk about short sightedness.
Sadly this is going to run and run, and all the while, the eye continues to be weighed down more and more by a debt, which never should have happened, and this stupid idiot Lord Hollick wants to make it worse, you have to ask what gives.
I have less space of course, though Z has taken things out of the bathroom now, as she was concerned she was taking over, not at all, but there is a good balance there.
It has been a hectic week for Z, getting everything sorted out for the upcoming course she is on next week, a lot of pre-course work to be done as well as a lot of learning too, so poor Z will be spending the coming week continuing to do her learning whilst I try and crack on with my OU studies.
I am glad Z is here, it makes a good difference, and with my stressed out week, nice to come home to as well, a little bit of relaxation, well as much as I can relax given my general nature which tends to be on tender hooks a lot. I am sure that is aging ones body at a rate that it shouldn’t, but cram things in why not????
Still getting use to the idea of someone being in the house with me, not happened in so long, and it still seems odd that Z is here when I get home, pleasantly odd, but still odd. For the first couple of days, I was expecting her to disappear and go somewhere else, which was always the way in the past when she was in her last role, and thus we would get maybe two days or nights at most, or get called away, and so I was expecting it to happen again, thankfully it hasn’t.
I am looking forward to how things will go and I already know that there are some things that we will do together in the upcoming weeks and months, and it feel good to be sharing the time with her.
Plenty more will follow in the adventures of me and Z that I am confident of.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Let me wind back a little though, and explain what happened yesterday, cause for some of you it might seem funny, others might be aghast at what happened, and some will probably blame me for what happened.
The aids as they are digital were setup according to my audiogram, the software dictating what is deemed right for my hearing loss. Well I should point out here, that not one manufacturers software has ever match my loss right, so either they haven’t a clue or my ears are just not what the audiograms ever show.
When they were switched on, my immediate reaction was, I can’t wear these, I can’t hear a damn thing with them, no swearing mind, just using the damn as an emphasis. I was not hearing a thing, it was all muffled, echoing, too much bass, and everything that was wrong could be. Well the audiologist didn’t like it at all, he was well pissed at me, he felt I was being a drama queen, going overboard, and he even said, well that is it, I can’t fit you with anything, you will have to make do, that is all we have on the NHS, so you will have to go private.
I can tell you, right then, I was like, so ready to blow up, swear and give what for. I bit my tongue and just said, well if that is all you can give me, then so be it, knowing full well, I would just find a way around him in time, and find another avenue. Been in the system too long to know I can find other ways if I am really pushed to do so, might take a while, but in the interim I would struggle on, heck I am used to it these days.
After about 5 minutes, he decided to change his mind, and sit with me, and try and remove the problems I was finding. Bear in mind I had already explained very clearly what I found to be problems in the sound. Bit by bit he started adjusting them, they are a pain to adjust so I get it, but he managed to get a better sound for me. Still not ideal, but better than the Oticon Spirit II P I had.
Am I satisfied, not a chance, I in my eyes deserve to hear properly, and if hearing aid manufacturers claim their products do such a thing, then I expect it, the least I expect. Why should I, just because I was born profoundly deaf not be able to interact with the world the way 99% of people do. These aids are better than some I have had, will I be able to use them enough, next week will be telling, when I get back to work, will it finally after 3 months allow me to hear people properly, will it allow me to go to lunch with others without flaking out after 30 minutes because I can’t keep up in a bar/pub. I am hoping so, nothing more frustrating than not being able to keep up, it makes me look stupid, and I feel stupid too.
Why do I have to keep changing aids, I have had hearing aids in the past where I could hear better than I can now. Why did I change, because the manufacturers decided in their wisdom that the aid I had was to be updated, and when they update, they screwed with it, making it impossible for me to use the new version. A case in point, some years back, I had a phonak, and it had a lot of grey area in the sound, smooth progression on noise. When they updated it, it was black and white, no middle area, and thus I couldn’t cope with them, and I struggled to hear. I know they want to push their new products, but they are worse than Microsoft, a new version every 6 months, which doesn’t always give benefits, in some cases takes it away.
Back to yesterday, after finally getting me set up correctly with the aids, the audiologist was okay with me. He has called me the biggest pain in his backside for a patient, but and his words “I know exactly what I want” and thus it means they can sort it out in theory. I am supposedly the cleverest, smartest, most annoying, pain in the backside patient, simply because I demand the best, expect the best and lastly I expect to hear properly, no excuses as far as I am concerned. There shouldn’t be a case in this day and age of me having to just make do, I did that when I was young, having to wear a box aid.
This leads me slightly to a post I put up the other day with the extremist animal rights activists. These extremists need to be sorted out, in this country there are a lot of people hanging on hoping that gene therapy will change their lives, I am one such person, if the science is to be believed, then gene therapy might be able to reverse my hearing loss, if so then I would want such experimentation to proceed on animals first so that they can be sure they don’t kill us humans. I am not the only one hoping for gene therapy to work, there are many others, suffering from major diseases – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.
People deserve to have a chance, and I am betting anything that the extremists are using medicines which at one point were tested on animals, well that makes them hypocrites, it really does. Why not advance science so much so animals aren’t needed, isn’t of holding back science by violence, desecration of graves, etc.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
This is just another example of how the government is so unable to get computer systems working at all, and in this example, the people who suffered were those whose need was the greatest. By not having their money, it left a lot of people
IT problems torment Jobcentre Plus staff
This is the DWPs CMS2 (Customer Management System) and it apparently is to make efficiencies in the system of those who need to claim. There is one rather large problem that in true typical governmental style they have forgotten, there is a sizeable percentage of the population who are deaf, and thus aren’t able to use the phones, need to rely on minicoms, or even face to face. This system has removed the face to face element until later into the system, which stuffs up those who can’t hear on the phone, and it is well known that the DWP doesn’t have much in the way of minicom systems, in fact, it is a known fact that most offices don’t even have one, and in a lot of the call centres, they have no-one who knows how to use it. That is good; another way the government can make sure that those who need help are excluded. Maybe the DRC should be investigating this, cause it will cause a headache in the future, for sure.
This government is well known for having serious problems with IT projects and it wants us to give it another chance with the ID cards to waste even more money for an IT which hasn’t been proven and is filled with problems.
It makes me think of the time in the US where the scientists managed to get Ronald Reagan to pay for all manner of projects that were never likely to see the light of day, because they were a technology that was so in its infancy and not even provable, but they managed to convince him that it would work. Well, one has to remember he wasn’t the brightest spark in the box, but even so – Stars wars, having satellites to destroy missiles, mmmm, that was going to work….
But back to the point, this government is bamboozled by a bunch of overpaid consultants whom never seem to deliver and see the government as a cash cow for their businesses, and each and every time the government gets screwed. Maybe it is time the government had it is own software development department, in-house, easier to control, and will probably be better than the overpaid consultants.
Guinea pig farm's family targeted
The siege of Darley Oaks Farm
I am not against protests, but the level of violence they have used to achieve this is mind boggling, seriously mind boggling.
The family who own the farm have had a lot of violent attacks on them
To top it off, the extremists protestors desecrated a dead woman’s grave, hello, anyone in there, come on, desecrating a grave, that is nasty stuff, what on earth gives. Removing a dead woman’s remains and apparently they are still not found 11 months on and it is believed they will never be recovered.
Me, I am not against animal testing I will be honest. Until we can produce a better method that allows drugs for medicine to be tested and give valid results when testing these new medicines then we have no choice. All that can be done is to try and minimize the level of pain and harm caused, but until technology creates something better, we are left with nothing else.
I am for protests, if people want to protest, but the extremists who are doing this, need to be stopped, to cause violence on others isn’t an acceptable way of protesting against this.
It kind of reminds me of the joke that Bill Hicks used to say about pro-lifers murdering doctors in the US. Yep, pro-lifers murdering people, mmmm, that gets your point across really well doesn’t it. You are pro-life, but you think that murdering doctors, etc to stop abortions is the right way.
You can easily transpose that onto this situation, you are against animal testing so you think that committing acts of violence on doctors, workers, and families makes you better and any different to them. You charge them with causing harm to animals, but you are doing no different. And to desecrate a grave, that isn’t call for, and the sooner the police work out who did it, and throw them in the clink the better.
People have a right not to have people commit acts of violence on them, and until the protestors come up with a better solution, I will personally see the extremists as nothing more than pond scum, because such behaviour can’t and should never be accepted as a viable form of protest.
Animal tests get renewed backing
I am sure I could end up with a lot of complaints against my view, so be it, but everyone is entitled to a view, and people shouldn't be having acts of violence carried out on them, because of their view and their work, we do live in a free society I thought.
Monday, August 22, 2005
I saw this on the BBC site and after reading the article, my first response well no shit sherlock, you reckon.
They have defined it as iPod generation (supposedly under 35s) as because it means - Insecure, Pressured, Overtaxed and Debt-ridden
I am not sure I agree with insecure, but the other three I can take onboard. To me I have been renamed yet again. I was always Generation X, and will be until I can think of a more poignant tag.
It is true, we are worse off than our parents, especially when you are leaving university with 20K min debt in most cases which immediately puts you behind when trying to get on the property ladder for one, trying to enjoy life for another.
What the overloads of the government don't seem to realise that, if the "iPod" generation are so up to their ears in debt, then they can never afford to purchase the houses the overloads of this government own, and thus when they hope to sell, they are screwed because of no first time buyers to prop them and their little pyramid scheme up.
Plus on top of this, more are staying at home for longer, meaning they are being even more of a burden to their parents, because they can't afford to move out, thus the parents, don't have the chance to enjoy their life as they would expect to do so.
If anyone of our parents generation reads this, this simply means when you get old and need help, we can't afford to, because you cleaned us out. Remember what goes around comes around, you steal from us now, you will get it back in spades in the future, because we won't be able to support you as you would desire, because we are paying for things you never had to when you were in our shoes.
I don't like the situation at all, things like free education should be that, why did you deem it fine for you to get the free education, but now you are happy to pull the ladder up now you have made it. Talk about protectionist policies.
Majority approve smoking ban
The majority of the public believe smoking should be banned in all workplaces, according to a new study.
Research by Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) and Cancer Research UK revealed 73 per cent of individuals in England and Wales support a blanket smoking ban.
Under government proposals, which are due to come into force in 2008, non-food serving pubs and clubs will be exempt from a smoking ban.
ASH director Deborah Arnott labelled plans not to outlaw smoking in all establishments as "damaging" and "pointless". "The public wants action to end second-hand smoke at work. It now kills more than 600 people at work every year three times the number of deaths from industrial accidents. And it causes many thousands of asthma attacks and episodes of illness," she said.
"Smoke-free legislation must be comprehensive if it is to be successful," Ms Arnott added.
The health improvement and protection bill is expected to be put before parliament in November
Well, I think the words duh, come to mind here. It is only the government whom seem to not have their ear to the ground and are so disconnected from their own electorate, which is sadly nothing new, but here is even more proof that their dithering is a waste of time. It is so funny that they can't see that a ban will work. It works in San Francisco, New York, Ireland, Norway, and more and more places are putting in bans which aren't affecting business, in a lot of cases, it is increasing business because those who don't want to smell like an ashtray at the end of a night are actually going out, they aren't being affected by the pain to their eyes with the smoke. I have had the fortune to visit two of the places listed, and it made my night a lot lot better not having that stench on my clothes, I ended up staying longer in the bar/pub, because I didn't have to get away from the smoke.
This idea of allowing people to ruin others health, is not on anymore, and people are sick of it. It would help if London Underground would enforce their ban on smoking, instead of just making an announcement on the tube saying it isn't allowed to smoke, how about throwing the people out of the station, especially as these people seem to forget what happen at Kings Cross in the 80s
So please mayor Ken, act without the government, and ban smoking in public places, like bars/pubs/clubs, restaurants.
Long working hours 'health risk'
Why, when we have repeated studies like this, that people like Digby Jones and others who have the wonderful idea that we should have a long hours culture, not read research which clearly shows the dangers of working long hours, and they even support the initiative for a max of 48 hour week. I am not surprised.
When will companies realise that working people to beyond normal capability isn't good for the staff's health, the good of their business, and the burden on the welfare state, because these people end up very ill, costing a lot of money to the state, through time off, through therapy, and a lack of productivity.
I am very fortunate it seems that I have a 35 hour week, and if I ever decide to move on, I will simply not work for a company that expects a 40-50 hour week, because it doesn't mean more work gets done. Productivity is highest when you have fewer hours, as workers are fresher, on the ball more, and less mistakes are then made as well. The Europeans have got this right, they know the benefits of having their staff not work too many hours.
So hopefully the likes of Digby Jones and others like him, will realise that if an American study says it is bad, and from the land that will do all it can to make people work too many hours, and be detrimental to someone's health, that there is some understanding there is a person in the work process, not a machine.
Today it was announced that Moog has died.
A lot of the music I listen to had it roots in those pioneers of synths, so many bands of the 80s wouldn't have existed and so many of them would have had to use different instruments. A lot of the bands of the 60s were big users of his machines to name a couple the beatles, the beach boys, the doors, etc.
I am sure many many others can list all the bands of the 80s that used synths so heavily that, that was all they were to some extent. But long live the synth, and I am a big fan of the electro music that came from synths.
Supernature is a good album, don't misunderstand, especially if you like electro-pop music. Well that is what I would class it as, and I believe others do. The album rolls along very quickly and before you know it, it is finished, very unexpectedly.
The only thing I didn't like about the album, was the fact that I had to install software to play it on my machine, I find that really bad. Why should I have to install software to play it on my PC, it should just play straight out.
Otherwise, I would say if you liked Black Cherry, then get hold of supernature and give it a good listening to. I believe you will enjoy it
Friday, August 19, 2005
F isn't well at all, and this operation is urgent and of course, despite my sadness at not being able to catch up now, the main thing is that F is well. We looked at other dates, but the alternatives clash with my work commitments, never thought I would say that 6 months ago, lol.
It is a grand shame, as it has been a while since I had the chance to catch up with F, and doing so in the sunny climate of Malta was something I was looking forward to. I am sure now that I am back working there will be more opportunities to catch up with F. With F's birthday approaching as well, it was really going to be a good chance to have a laugh.
Well F, take care of yourself, keep your strength to recover, and we will just to have to organize another time, and I will be able to catch up then, and to my knowledge Malta won't run away, so I can see you in the near future, I am sure of it
I am still going to be taking the time off work, take a well needed break and take it easy, well I say that, but with my OU coming to a close in the next month or so, I need to focus on the exams and the last of the assignments, so I will probably be working, but not my usual case of work, plus I guess I have to try and get the house ready for when Z turns up on the 28th
Thursday, August 18, 2005
This report has been on the BBC website and in the evening standard. Well I have to say it makes me laugh, because for one it is like ‘No Shit Sherlock’ and then they come up with daft things like, that people have their headphones too loud and that is the reason for damaging the hearing. If you look at the list below, and tell me that those living in London don't suffer an assault on their ears each day, not of their doing.
They even list decibel levels as such
20dB – Quiet room at night
70dB – a city street
90dB – Tube Train
90-105dB - Nightclub
100dB - iPod at full volume
110dB - pneumatic drill
125dB - rock concert
130dB - aeroplane taking off
140dB - threshold of pain
Then they say that ‘80 decibels as the level at which hearing is threatened - 20 less than a pneumatic drill.’ Well if you look at the list, the tube train is higher than the level when hearing is threatened, and given most people spend anywhere between 1hr to 3/4 hours a day on the tube, for those who commute, what that does say, when they are saying that iPods are damaging the hearing with use of an hour a day. What it says is that the tube is damaging peoples hearing and unless something is done, nothing will ever change.
This research makes me laugh because they focus on things like iPods, etc which people use to enjoy music and then saying people turn them up to try and drown out the unpleasant noise from traffic and on the Tube. Well when you look at the list are you bloody surprised. Maybe for those who live in London, this will point out just how bad the Tube is for your health, and that doesn’t include all the dust that is going into your lungs and chest when you are down there.
Suggesting people listen responsibly, is all well and good, but when like me you spend 2 hours a day travelling a tube that is supposedly threatening what little hearing I have left, and I don’t listen to a walkman, that says the tube needs to be sorted out.
Thank you very much for your e-mail. I was very sorry to learn that you haven encountered such problems with your referral and I have passed your concerns on to xxxxxx, General Manager for our Cardiology department in order that they can investigate these issues. Please note that we aim to respond to complaints within 20 working days of receipt and as soon and as soon as our investigation has been completed our Chief Executive, xxxxxxxx, will respond to you.
You can of course write to xxxxxxx at the following address:
Northwick Park Hospital
In addition, you are most welcome to contact the Complaints department on telephone number xxx xxxx xxxx or if you would prefer independent advice you may contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) on xxxx xxx xxxx.
I hope this is of some help. I am very sorry that your experience of Northwick Park Hospital was not a good one but I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us as patient feedback is most helpful to us in the improvement of our services.
Well I have to say it stunned me, I never expected to get this and I have to say I am happy that at least it is in the pipeline. I will of course be fair and give them the 20 working days from today, which means if I haven’t heard by the 19th September, then I am going to be back at their door giving them what for.
I have to admit, I can’t imagine what they can say that will appease my frustration and anger, but I have to I suppose give them the chance to respond.
This will continue to be ongoing, watch out for more reports.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Healthcare commission report 2005 for North West London Hospitals NHS trust
Star Rating for the North West London Hospitals NHS trust 2005
There shows in these reports just how bad things are, and to make matters worse they are extremely dismissive of patient compliants. The defintion of compliants by the commission - Percentage of written complaints for which a local resolution was completed within 20 working days.This indicator shows how well the NHS is performing in meeting targets set for the local resolution stage of the NHS complaints procedure. And they score 1, which is Significantly below average, oh my. I can see my letter disappearing and never being found, just like the 24 hour tape data.
The management in charge of this trust, should be sacked en mass, and a new set of people found who will actually do what they are employed for, making sure patients are seen quickly, with little or no fuss, and make sure the patients get better where possible, instead of having them wait in excess of the time the government sets as the worse case scenario waiting time. Remember this is a trust that sends out letters to people asking if they still want the surgery which they have been waiting in excess of 9 months for, so they can try and reduce the waiting list.
If anyone from that trust by chance ever reads this, maybe they can say why the trust is sinking fast and up shit creek without a paddle.
This is what I have sent to them tonight, and lets see what gets said.
I am writing to complain about the extremely poor service given to me at Northwick Park Hospital (NPH). I am absolutely disgusted with the service.
I have been seeing a cardiologist and in January 2005 I was told by them that I would be immediately referred to the Chelsea and Westminster because my problem is urgent, and that they needed to find out why I was suffering blackouts with no explanation.
Well that was January 2005, I found out yesterday that despite it being urgent, the letter was dictated in January 2005 and marked as urgent, it was typed in July 2005. It was deemed okay not to even type the letter for 6 months let alone send it to the Chelsea and Westminster hospital. They of course booked me in ASAP, whereas NPH couldn't even be bothered to type a referral letter to ensure that my health is taken care of.
I am absolutely disgusted, and many other choices of words that would be impolite to type. How is something that is clearly stated as urgent, left for 6 months. I shudder to think what non-urgent means at NPH.
This goes along with the complete and utter farce that meant I had to wait 2+ years from breaking my wrist to actually having an operation to have it fixed and right now I am having to go through all the physiotherapy whereas it should have been done in the beginning if someone had decided to actually make sure that patient health was important.
I would really like to know why I had to wait so long for a referral, one would think you would be aiming to get me pushed elsewhere to save you money. And why is it that your staff also managed to lose a 24 hour tape test for cardiology, forcing me to have to do another one.
This smacks of sheer incompetency, short sightedness, and downright disregard for a patients health. Nothing about this is right and I am really hoping you are able to come with a logical response, because other than actually sacking incompetent management I don't see how else this can be resolved, other than maybe hire more admin staff to ensure that letters are typed up. That would be a novel idea.
I would also like the name and address of the chief of staff, to make a formal complaint, as I feel this matter is obviously not something that NPH seem to be interested in dealing with.
As you can see I held back from really taking a shot at them.
I will also post in another entry just how bad the healthcare commission rated NPH and the trust it is part of, scary reading for those who are in North West London like myself. Remember that the commission is a governmental body too.
I have to say there have been days, where I wonder if I get time to blog and if I really feel up to blogging. This blog is meant to be fun, as well my take on the world, and if it gets peoples attention all the better, and if others feel like taking what I say and using it themselves or feel a connection to it, that is even better, as it means I am not the only one who sees the world in the way I do.
When I started this blog, it was with the intention to show one Londoners view of London and the everyday life of said Londoner, as well as showing the trials, tribulations, joys, pleasures a deaf person in London gets, the highs and the lows. I feel that I get that out sometimes, other times not, I guess my mind is so full of stuff, it would be easier to download it, if my fingers were fast enough, but obviously ones aren't, plus I have no desire to attached to my computer 24/7, maybe a few years back, but I can and intend to enjoy more of my life than that.
There is more in my life than I can ever manage to blog about, and I hope the snippets I give of my mind make others laugh, or cry even if the subject matters needs it.
I will let the blog ebb and flow as it grows, it has been about 6 months now, and I feel this blog is like a good book you like that you go back to again and again to connect with. Just like friends you don't see for a while and when you do, it is like you only saw them yesterday.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Today has proved itself to be a day where I have seen the worse of the NHS and the best, and I thought I had seen the worse having to wait for two years for an operation for a busted wrist. This day will prove just how bad things are getting and we are due for a lot lot worse and I rue the day this incumbent bunch of morons in the government were allowed to run the country.
I had three hospital appointments today, one for my ears to keep a check on them to ensure I don’t ever suffer a chloesteatoma again like I did 6 years ago, something I never want to go through again. Another was for a cardiology appointment to find out why I suffering blackouts and dizzy spells for no none reason, and the last one was for new hearing aids.
Well the first one went okayish, I usually see them every 3 months and managed to push that out to 6 months because sorting out time through work isn’t easy to do especially when the specialist is only available on a Monday morning in the week. Though they left me running to a very close deadline, I was given the all clear, and given a backup in case of emergencies, incase of an ear infection, so I was very happy with their can do attitude.
Onto the second appointment, having to get half way across London, which anyone who knows, that isn’t easy to do at anytime of the day, but especially at lunchtime, when people seem to just congregate in places, that you don’t expect. Thankfully I made it to the Chelsea and Westminster (C+W). Well I have to say I was very impressed by them, they showed me a side of the NHS I generally never see and they were very helpful. I did have to wait over an hour from the time of my appointment, but given that this appointment had been a very quickly arranged appointment because of my problems with blackouts, etc. I wasn’t too unhappy about it.
My anger and frustration boiled over when I saw the specialist though, it transpires that my local hospital – Northwick Park Hospital (NPH), saw it fit after the cardiologist saw me there in January to refer me to C+W as an urgent case, so far so good, but it took NPH 6 months to write the referral letter to C+W. 6 months, the specialist themselves was astounded that a case that is so urgent could be left. He blames the admin of NPH, which doesn’t surprise me, the trust that NPH is part of is millions and millions in debt, what the hell, just how, what are they doing to accrue that much debt and they also dropped in the governmental ratings. Well duh, if the services aren’t being provided, then of course it will happen.
Waiting 2 years for surgery, waiting 9 months to see a specialist for cardiology, the list goes on, I know many people who are suffering at the hands of incompetancy. Whoever is in charge, seriously needs to be fired and thrown out now, and get this situation fixed, they are even close to reaching targets and are running the place into the ground.
The specialist did his best to apologise for NPH, despite the fact it wasn’t his problem, and I have spent the last 6 months being left in limbo by a hospital that shows it doesn’t even know how to do the basics, like send referrals. You would think they would do this fast, as it means someone else is paying for it, and not them, oh no. This is the same hospital that made me do a 24 hour tape test twice, because they lost the original results. Like I say needs to be shot. And yes I will be making a complaint as advised by this specialist, and if I do ever get a letter of response I will be posting it and I am less than impressed by NPH, so it is going to take a lot to fix this.
Thankfully I am now more likely to get the situation resolved now being part of C+W for the tests I need, something I have relief over, and instead of waiting up to 9 months like before for tests, it should take no more than 2 months, and to me that is f**king fast, so hats off to C+W to doing a good job, only wish I had such a decent hospital near to me.
After leaving that hospital I then had to go and get my new hearing aids, well, thank you Royal Free, I have to say I am not impressed by your actions. I go along expecting new aids, and it seems the mistakes made two weeks ago, where you deemed the aids I was going to have weren’t the right ones, so you suggested these others, well these others were even less powerful than I have, so what on earth were you thinking. Come on, get with the plot. It was only rescued by the fact the principal audiologist whom I know after repeated visits was shocked to see me, and corrected the complete and utter bulls up. The hearing aids I am supposed to have aren’t even in yet, so a completely utter wasted journey, yet again, two in two weeks, getting good aren’t we eh?
Oh, I ain’t finished yet, a bombshell was dropped, well I say bombshell other might not say so, but as the Royal Free is suffering money problems as well as NPH is, they are making cutbacks, and lo and behold where are some of the cutbacks coming – audiology. Great, just what I need, to be told that if I get these aids and there are problems I might not be able to get ones that I can hear with. Well just f**king great. It is bad enough that for the past 3+ months I have suffering aids where I can’t hear with, which is useless, and not exactly helping with work. It doesn’t make me look clever and it certainly doesn’t endear my new company to me at all. What I also didn’t like is the fact that if the aids breakdown I am screwed basically. They won’t give me spares, and so if they breakdown and with my bad luck with aids, as they always breakdown, I am forever going to be going back and to, and what makes it worse I won’t have a cover aid whilst it is sent off for repair. For a deaf person, the hearing aids allow me to have some chance of communication with the ‘normal’ world, and without hearing I am more susceptible to being injured, suffer problems, as you would expect with someone who can’t hear. Their response to my request, no chance pal, you have to lump it. Well thank you, you caring people!!!!!
I only hope that when I have to go back next week, that they actually have the aids in, and I won’t be forced into a third wasted journey.
I am looking forward to blasting the NPH, and I look forward to seeing what bullshit they manage to pull out of their fat f**king behind as an excuse.
And I apologise to those reading this whom didn’t like the strong language, but when you have repeatedly suffered this, you begin to get less able to withhold it, through the sheer frustration, and yes I found out my blood pressure is excessively high for the first time in my life, and you wonder why.