Clarence in Disgrace

Posted by Chalky on Oct 9, 2008 in Bad Luck, Driving, Scunthorpe, Work


Clarence, a literal shadow of his former self

Clarence, a literal shadow of his former self

On Monday, I took the extremely long way home, via Recovery Truck! I 

Whilst on the M180, I began to smell a funny smell. I’m almost certain it wasn’t actually my car that was causing the smell but by this time, I was so paranoid about the whole thing that I didn’t really want to carry on. I pulled onto the Hard Shoulder and called the AA. They said that I would be placed on the High Priority list seeing as I was stranded on the Motorway rather than being in a safer location. An hour later, a Recovery Truck pulled up behind me.

The Recovery Man was a very friendly man and had lots of interesting things to talk about. He had been a roofer for 22 years and then one day, a voice inside him said that he couldn’t do it anymore and explained that a few of his friends had had similar experiences, ignored them and then died a few weeks later from accidents at work. He decided to follow the voice in his head and gave up in favour of his current job.

We also talked about the current drinking culture in the UK and about Christmas and the New Year. It certainly made the journey a lot easier as I had visions of sitting in silence for the whole one and a half hour journey. 

After arriving just across the road from my house, we un-loaded the stricken Clarence and, after directing him to the local KFC, limped the C3 the rest of the way home. 

I’m currently using Percy, my Mk. 1 FIAT Punto to get me to and from work. Thank heavens I hadn’t got round to selling it yet! Looks like I’ll need to call in a few favours with my Uncle when he gets back of holiday! 

Thanks to Nitesh for suggesting my car should by called The Giddy-me-up to KFC Chariot instead of Clarence… He knows me so well!



“Have you got your ears in?”

Posted by Chalky on Oct 8, 2008 in Life Stuff, Random

For a long time now, I’ve considered myself to be a good listener and I feel honoured that people feel they can come to me if they need to talk to someone.

But who does the listener turn to when they want someone to hear them out; Who listens to the listener?


HI Daniel White, check out what we’ve just stolen from Facebook…

Posted by Chalky on Sep 6, 2008 in Rants

Well, I thought I’d keep on with the complaining about Social Networking sites. And why is the silhouette of a woman, let alone the face that if I was stood next to Russell Brand they’d also be a silhouette of a fist!

Does anyone actually still use MySpace?

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When is Contextual not Contextual? When it’s Facebook Contextual!

Posted by Chalky on Sep 5, 2008 in Bad Luck, Rants

Is it me, of has Facebook not quite gathered what a Contextual Ad actually is?

Here’s what our old friend Wikipedia has to say about Contextual Advertising:

Contextual advertising is a form of targeted advertising for advertisements appearing on websites or other media, such as content displayed in mobile browsers. The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the content displayed to the user.

This is what I also thought a Contextual Ad was. It is odd to me, therefore, that when I logged in a loaded up my Facebook profile today that I was greeted with this:

How charming is that. Get your contexts right Facebook, FIX IT!



Poor Clarence :(

Posted by Chalky on Aug 25, 2008 in Bad Luck, Driving

Today, I woke up to the wonderful news that my car has been broken into. They got in through the passenger-side window and stole my TomTom and iPod out of the Glovebox. It’ll be a while before I can afford to replace them but I suppose a lesson has been learned.

On a more positive note, I have to say I am very impressed with the way that Admiral has dealt with everything. The phone was answered immediately by a UK call centre and the representative was both helpful and polite. I’ve decided to just claim for the Window to be replaced rather than putting in a full Theft Claim as I’d lose my (already none-existant) No Claims Bonus and they’d only give me £100 for the lot so it was hardly worth it.

Anyway, National Windscreens (who I’m also pretty chuffed with) should be here at 1:30 so we’ll see what’s what.




Posted by Chalky on Jul 8, 2007 in Bad Luck

The saga has finally ended! For those of you who don’t know, I’ve had a rather long standing battle with Nildram (my ex. Internet Service Provider).

Way back in January of this year, I switched banks from NatWest to Barclays. Barclays made the process very easy for me by transferring all of my Direct Debits and Standing Orders, all was left for me to do was inform John Leggott College so that my wages would go in the new account and The Student Loans Company for the same reason. Everything appeared to go swimmingly, all of my Direct Debits were set up and none of the companies I had them set up with were making any complaints.

Everything ticked along fine until mid-June where one day, my sister rang me up and informed me that the Internet at home was not working. When I went home at the weekend I went in my room to find a red light on my ADSL router. I immediately rang Nildram’s Technical Support department to find out what was wrong with my Broadband Service. 10 minutes later (on a national rate number) someone finally answered. They told me that my account had been suspended by the Accounts department. On asking why this had been the case the operator told me that he was unable to give me that information. I asked if he could put me through to someone who could, the operator told me he couldn’t, they only work weekdays. I asked for the telephone number for the Accounts department so that I could call them on Monday morning in order to resolve the issue. I was given yet another premium rate number.

I protested about the fact that my broadband had been cut-off without any notification and with no way of resolving the situation. Eventually, the operator begrudgingly gave me a ‘temporary log-on’ which he stated very clearly that it would be disabled first thing on Monday morning. I told the operator that I was disgusted with the service I had recieved and that I wanted my MAC code in order to move to another Broadband Provider. Yet again, I was sent around the houses, however, this time I was given a Freephone number for the Sales department (how ironic). The Sales department were surprisingly compliant and gave me my MAC code with the minimum of fuss.

I’m still pretty disgusted with the way I was treated. Nildram have always been pretty good, especially if any faults have occured. However, I have not had much dealings with them since they were taken over by Pipex. I think this probably pays a large part into why the customer service has slipped so drastically. Needless to say, both Nildram and Pipex will be going on the list of companies I will be avoiding from now on… Sorry Mr. Hasselhoff!