Thursday, October 26, 2006

Borat in a Clouseau style

Overture advertising

I'd like to publicly shame Overture - I signed up with them and spent several hundred pounds on online advertising, and they have since sold or leaked my exclusive-to-them email address alias and I have been receiving emails about Vigara ever since.

Missing emails

I have a lot of domain names, but some of the principal ones do get important emails and feedback from the websites' visitors.

I'm sick to death of all these spam messages about stocks, and more recently some spammer has hijacked one of my oldest domains, sending out just this kind of message with the reply address being random chacters @ my domain, so I am getting hundreds of bounce-backs.

Sadly, it's the domain with the most aliases set-up, which has made it very time consuming to prepare for turning the default address into ":blackhole:"!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Warning! Nigerians calling!

So, Nigerian fraudsters have stopped sending orders for 50 of the same thing to be delivered to a flat - they want to pay immediately without knowing the cost via "their" credit card (actually stolen), want the goods sending via FedEx express, and actually, to speed things up, here is the card number in the email, etc.
Now, with VOIP making international phone calls cheap, they are calling me up to order things!
I now insist on bank transfer as payment only, but also official business purchase orders on headed paper.
I just had one on the phone then - from a large airport, but it's a bit of a giveaway when there's someone washing up in the background and their dog's barking....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Insurance - the lifeblood of UK retail?

Today, I bought a tumble dryer, a laptop and a car.
At each transaction, the sales advisor gave me the hard sell on their product cover insurance. On the laptop it was £110 per year - on the car it was £120 for 2 years, even though it cost 10 times as much!
I was expecting lots of hard sell from the car salesman, and he didn't disappoint. Whether it was a protective paint covering, 2 year extended warranty, or other nonsense, the patter flowed like spew. I declined all. He ended up confusing himself, and missed a trick, so I got another £150 out of him. I collect it on Friday.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bloody cats

I just looked out of the window and saw a neighbour put their big fat ginger cat out for the night to go around ripping bin bags open, shit in peoples' gardens where their children play, kill birds, put paw marks and scratch people's car bonnets and roofs, etc.
Why do they all shirk at any responsibilty of pet ownership?
I tell you now, if I find any cat has scratched my new car, I will invoice the owners and if I see a cat in my garden I will capture it and hold it to ransom.
They make me so bloody angry it's incredibly frustrating.
How would they like it if all the Alsatian owners in the area put out their dogs every night to shit in cat owners gardens, walk over their cars and savage their cats? Hmmm???

Friday, October 20, 2006

Paul Daniels' dick trick

I'm not sure whether I continue to endorse Paul Daniels' blog after his recent rather graphic description of his piss slit healing up and subsequent operation...

Honest DJ

An honest link from Capital Disney radio presenter James Beckingham:
"Welcome to the Download chart - this is what the boss does with me now, he's just paying me off 'til the end of my contract really"

Paint fireworks 2

Paint fireworks 1

For a Sony advert for colour TVs. Filmed in Glasgow. Filmed by a bystander. Full advert on the Sony Bravia website - it's v. good!

Smooth PrimeTime?

GMG Radio wants to overhaul 102.2 Smooth FM, changing the jazz, blues and R'n'B station into an easy listening station for the over-50s.
Anyone for PrimeTime Radio???

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Century sold back to John Myers / Morgan

From Broadcast:
Guardian Media Group has bought 105.4 Century FM and 100-102 Century FM from commercial radio group GCap Media for £60m. Both stations, in Manchester and Gateshead respectively, have assets of £1.5m and in the year to 31 March generated earnings before interest, taxes, amortisation and other charges of £5.3m.GCap Media's commercial team will continue to sell the station's ad space and receive a commission from the revenues for five years under the terms of the deal. GMG chief executive John Myers (pictured) said he was delighted to retake control of the Century FM stations, which he launched in 1994.
So maybe no return to Morgan in the Morning, but perhaps a bit of fun added back to what has become a pretty soul-less station.

How to make people hate you

Ask Derek Twigg MP, Veterans Minister whose interview on the ITV Evening News was an embarrassment to himself. He was rude, obstinate and did little - very little - for his defence/cause.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


What a fantastic shop!
I knew about it but had never been in. Some great bargains to be had - 3 torches for 75p. Lightbulbs that Tesco (who you'd think would be cheap) sell for £1.70 for 75p!  Bedside lamps - really nice wooden ones, £3.75 instead of £8.00.
25% off everything.
I was very impressed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bannatyne's Bad Bargaining

I'm not quite sure how the dour faced Scotsman Duncan Bannatyne managed to get on Dragon's Den on BBC 2.
For example, a couple of businessmen with a great invention to count coins going in and out of slot machines which Bannatyne could actually use in his casinos. They'd sold thousands already, and wanted £200,000 for a 20% stake in the company.
Bannatyne asks if that's negotiable. They say yes. So he says I'll give you £200,000 for 50% in the company.
Great move. Not.
They decline and he then declares himself out.
I wouldn't be surprised if someone who wants £100,000 for a 25% stake is offered £100 for a 90% stake. No? OK, then I'm out...

Monday, October 16, 2006

National Geographic

National Geographic magazine seems somewhat hypocritical with a "we must save these natural places" cover, then the first two pages are adverts for BMWs and then Apple laptops, which are noted by Greenpeace for the huge amount of toxins used in their creation and how transiently short-lived they are.
Other more elaborate articles inside detail how appauled and aware we should be at the number of toxic chemicals used in the products we have in our homes, nicely next to adverts for 4x4s trekking around Southern Africa.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Eton Road on X Factor

It's weird for me to hear so much mention of Eton Road, the name of a talented boy band currently appearing on ITV1's X Factor, because for the first 26 years of my life I used to live on Eton Road. The group apparently are named after their music & dance school they all used to attend, presumably in Liverpool.
I've always had to spell the name over the telephone, as people tend to add an 'a' after the 'E' making it "Eaton". Where I lived, the street names were named after colleges and universities.
Of course, there are a number of Eton Roads in Britain, as any search will show.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Massive toad!

I was using a shovel to scrape the gunk off the bottom of the pond today, scooping it out and putting it in a bucket. On about the 3rd scoop, there was this lump on the shovel. As I looked closer, it was a massive red toad! It stared back at me, and I was worried that I'd injured it with the scraping, but it was breathing and looked fine. It turned round and jumped back in the pond, off the shovel.
It was cool.
I've never seen so many frogs and toads in my life since I moved into my house - the first house I've lived in with a pond!

What am I? The CAB?

A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from a translator from Costa Rica or somewhere asking how much she should charge for some voice-over work. She lives in Somerset and has to travel to Nottingham to record it. She's a translator and is paid £50 per hour for translating.
Yesterday I got a call from someone at a Job Centre saying "I have a gentleman with me who'd like to do something with his voice", and asking how he could get voice work.
I am consistently offended when people think it's so easy to just set-up and do it. Someone I used to wark with who has what can only be described as a very 'toothy' sounding voice with a lisp and Teesside accent said he wanted to 'get into voice-overs'. I stood there shocked. It took a lot not to laugh actually. I spouted off some garb about buying microphones, but if he sets up and gets one single order, I'll eat my hat.
Why should I give them advice and help for absolutely no reward for myself? Why should I impart to them the knowledge that I have learned over the years on the intricacies of the voice-over world? Why should I encourage someone who is sitting unemployed in a job centre to enter my industry and thin down the already full market where supply outstrips demand bring prices down to below where it becomes viable to work? "Oh yes, come in and enjoy the fun of getting no work for several weeks!"
People just don't get it. Information may be freely available on the internet, but why they expect commercial companies to offer guidance and advice to someone who could eventually become a competitor? I know the EU gives money to poorer countries to help them, and then they become good at something then the rich countries that gave them the money lose jobs because the poorer countries labour costs are less and then the richer countries have fewer jobs. I do not understand the mentality of Europe.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Etsuko in Middlesbrough. Excellent Japanese food at surreal prices and portion sizes. Eat 'til you burst for �1.99!

The residents love it so much they try to burn it down! If only they'd gone to school instead of going out robbing, they'd know that bricks don't burn.

Middlesbrough - The beauty of the town

Glamorous Middlesbrough!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

£140,000 spent on 'pockets' study

£140,000 spent on 'pockets' study


And wot, no hospitals?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sloppy website designers

I have begun to understand why so many website designers simply can't be bothered to do updates or work.

I have three problems.

One is people never send me anything to put on their website.

Two is people send too much to put on their website (like, Argos catalogue sized brochures they want on in their entirity - I don't think they realise how long it will take and how much it will cost them).

Three is people who provide me with patchy information either over the phone or hand written that's full of abbreviations which makes a 5 minute update take around 2 days because it becomes an investigation as to what the person is referring to in their garbled text.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Strange habit

Americans who send me emails seem to have developed a strange habit of using no greetings are proper sentence structures and simply stating what they want from me or tell me.

e.g. "Cost and prices please"

e.g. 2 "Long-time broadcaster...left the business in 1997 as a GM ...etc."