Archive for the 'Ravings' Category

by Pat
on Sep 26th, 2011

Orange Customer Services Survey

Well, following my “I need some more bandwidth while I wait for Broadband” fiasco with Orange earlier, I was “invited to provide feedback”.

I did, and their thank you rather amused me:

Orange Customer Services Feedback

In related and awful news, I spotted 3 pubs on the way back from town that had free Wi-fi, which means I’m going to be spending much of the next month in pubs.

What a nightmare!


P.S. I enrolled today. I’m now an official student. Boom!

by Pat
on Sep 26th, 2011

0 Days: Phone Rant


So, I book my broadband connection in early September. They tell me a BT engineer can only arrive on the 28th at the earliest. I realise last week that the 28th is an induction/course briefing day. That’s my fault. I should’ve realised this a week before. So I phone this morning.

I’m now getting a phone line installed on the 18th of October. I’ll get broadband by the end of October.

About 6 weeks after moving in.

I’m fuming: largely at myself for leaving phoning PlusNet to rearrange, as I knew this’d happen. I’m also pissed off at BT for their deliberate long lead times, at PlusNet for the unapologetic nature of the call staff and their text message telling me it’ll cost £50 if I have to rearrange again. (£50, f**kin’ hell…)

Til then, I have 500MB a month with Orange.


That’s not really enough.

So… I phone Orange. To paraphrase:

  • Me: “Please can I have some more bandwidth this month?”
  • Them: “Sure! There’s a 500MB package you can have: £5 for 30 days!”
  • “Great, I’ll take that.”
  • “OK, we’ll have to remove your free 500MB add-on to apply it”
  • “Sorry, you’re saying I have to remove the 500MB I get for free, and replace it with an identical add-on for £5?”
  • “Yes”
  • “Is there a way I can have more than 500MB, oh and preferably not pay for what I’m already getting for free?”
  • “Er, we can move you to a different talk plan”
  • “I only want this for a month, and I’m happy with my talk plan. Can you not add an *additional* 500MB onto my account?”
  • “Er… do you have a dongle or another phone you can use?”
  • “No.”
  • “Oh, sorry”
  • “Bye”

Hey, Orange. Orange! Over here… come here… that’s it… now, put your ear to my mouth… go on, it’ll be fine… that’s it… there you go… ok… so… here’s the thing…YOU ARE F***ING TERRIBLE.


I’m off to enroll at Uni. And find some cafes with free WiFi.

Pat [Insert angry animated emoticon thing here]

by Pat
on Sep 23rd, 2011

Sir Spamalot

Every time I go to update a blog post (that’s right, Facebook crew, I write these posts here and Facebook just imports them), I like to see what shit is in my “for approval” comments list.

Here are some from today, with my thoughts attached:

An Ode To Euromillions (basically, a lame poem :) )
I’m out of lgueae here. Too much brain power on display!
Thanks, but what the hell is a lgueae?

Moving Sh*t (a ramble about moving stuff down here)
I am forever idnetbed to you for this information.
So, you’re… you’re some kind of ID Software Network DLL file to me? Actually, you probably are

All Employee Meetings (basically, some doodles)
You have the monopoly on useful information?aren’t monopolies illeagl? ;)
You ask me stupid questions? Nothing is illeagl to my knowledge? [emoticon for punching a computer in the iFace?]

Final Department Meeting (some more doodles)
Cool! That’s a clveer way of looking at it!
Thanks! Oh, also, looking at what?

Milestones and Moaning (basically, “Oh look, there’re this many days to go, oh and broadband is annoying”)
Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-exactly as inrfomation should be!
Actually, I’d love to be able to charge people for reading information-free rants like I occasionally do. Thanks for the idea, “Denisha”!

Why I’m Quitting Work… (A long, rambling blog post)
Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-exactly as information shluod be!
You know, if it weren’t for the mis-spelling in a different word, and the fact that you’re called “Doughboy” this time, I’d think you were the same bot as a moment ago.

And this is my favourite:

Snowboarding! (A blog post from 2007 about learning to snowboard, going on a bungee ball and seeing Kevin Bloody Wilson)
An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
No offence, “New Jersey refinancing”, but I think your boss needs to fire you both. But don’t worry, after that I’ll hire you, so long as you become as expertise as me.

Right, I’m off to do some drawing.

I like the way yuo just read this whole post, makes me rethink things! lol!


by Pat
on Sep 15th, 2011

11 Days: Moving In Day!

Today I move into my place in Brighton.

“But wait!” I hear you say, “Aren’t you working in Essex tomorrow?”

Yes I am.

“Didn’t you state previously that you’re moving to Brighton this Sunday?”

Sure did.

“Surely it makes literally no sense to head from Brentwood to Brighton and back just to sign some papers and pick keys up?”

You’d think so. But then, you’d probably also assume that this Estate Agent would be open at a weekend.

You’d be assuming wrong. It’s a Monday to Friday thing only, my friend.

Mind you, I suppose MOST people work on weekends only, and thus it’d be massively inconvenient for them to have to take time of worOH-NO-IT’S-THE-OTHER-WAY-ROUND-ISN’T-IT?

I’m not too annoyed, mind. For a start I get to leave work at 1:30pm, and secondly I get to stand in my flat tonight and say “GET IN! I HAVE A FLAT IN BRIGHTON!”. A preview, if you like.

Let’s just hope the Estate Agent doesn’t close at 1pm.



P.S. The whole “About to stop being an employee of my company forever” thing still hasn’t sunk in. I guess the whole “leaving” process tomorrow might do it…

by Pat
on Sep 8th, 2011

18 Days: Leaving Corporate Life

And so it is nearly upon me. The day where I hand my office pass in to my boss, clear down my desk and head out of the building for the final time.

At times like this it’s hard not to think about the things I’ll miss about my current corporate life. Harder still to avoid pondering those things I won’t miss.

“Why don’t you write a blog entry talking about some of those things now, Pat?”

GREAT IDEA! Let’s go:

Key Things I’ll Miss

This is pretty obvious: the people and the pay. Ok, so this section appears ludicrously small in comparison to the one below, but that’s because it’s much more fun to write rants :-)

Key Things I’ll Not Miss

IT Systems

From computers I’d struggle to get Doom running on even with a special boot disk, though “rich” web-based systems that require $3 million worth of hardware and software to poorly emulate the old robust thick client systems / the perfectly functional old web pages that could keep themselves within 2MB a page, to centrally-enforced software rollouts that turn your PC into a tin box with flashing lights on it (“What do you mean you guys install software on your development PCs?”).

Corporate IT Systems, from what I gather, suffer from the following two issues:

  • The slow and complex nature of changing, testing and approving new systems across a huge organisation
  • A new solution often being a result of golf matches with suppliers rather than what’s measurably best. (This is of course a joke and in no way is Pat trying to suggest that A new solution often being a result of golf matches with suppliers rather than what’s measurably best – Squage). Er, that’s literally just what I wrot-(SHUT UP – Squage). Ahem. Yes, there is no second bullet point.


Want to copy a file over here? Sure! You just need to:

  • Raise this EU Change Request form
  • Raise this separate USA Change Request form (5 days’ notice at least)
  • Get the appropriate approvals from all appropriate parties (and some inappropriate ones)
  • Load the file into the “here’s the only place you’re allowed to have stuff copied from” area
  • Raise the paperwork to have it copied to the staging area (make sure you perform the appropriate file labelling and promotion first)
  • Raise the paperwork to have it moved to production (up to 5 days’ notice)
  • Make sure you’ve got the appropriate Service Centre Supervisor confirmation as we’re not in the 1 month that doesn’t involve some kind of “Freeze Period”
  • Make sure your previously approved system architecture document won’t be affected so you might want to involve the IT Policy Specialist to review your change.


Business Speak

I agree that in order to sing holistically from the same hymn sheet, we often need a heads together in order to ensure the important items are on our radars from the get go.

Perhaps using metaphors can incentivise a quick win when trying to action an idea shower into deliverables in the office going forward.

But heads up folks, I want to touch base with you on this: it only takes a bit of blue sky thinking in this space to realise using these low hanging fruit can damage your ability to articulate clearly.

I just don’t have the bandwidth to cope with it all cascading down to me, I can’t even be bothered to drill down into what wrong-sides me about it most.

If I could just get my ducks in a r(OK, STOP THIS NOW – Squage)

Ok, sorry. I must mention this though: my favourite BS phrase still has to be this, which was uttered only once to my knowledge by a former manager:

“We need to take the chastity belt off this project”

To this day, I still shudder to think of the manager strapping the project down and giving it a good seeing to. Think that dream in Office Space. “Yeeeeeeahhh… I’m gonna need you to go ahead and be delivered by Q4… don’t move… yeah that’s it… keep that deadline right… there…”

I’ll leave that image with you. Hope it pushed the envelope.



by Pat
on Sep 5th, 2011

23 – 21 Days: Milestones and Moaning

  • Saturday marked the “1 week til I dump some of my furniture in Brighton” milestone.
  • Yesterday marked the “2 weeks til I move to Brighton” milestone.
  • Today (the 5th of September) marks the “10 days to go working for My Beloved Employer ™” milestone, along with the “I’ve added a ‘My final working day is’ line to my company signature” moment.
  • Tomorrow marks the “4 weeks til my phone line gets plugged in” milestone. Yes. 4 weeks.

Now, I know September is a busy time around a student town, I accept that.

But really?

Are there really so many long-empty houses and so few BT engineers that the earliest date a bod could turn up and spend 30 minutes kroning a couple of wires is the 27th of September?

Good grief.

Fortunately the broadband is available as soon as the physical connection’s madeOh-WAIT-A-MINUTE-No-I-Have-To-Wait-Another-5-To-7-Business-Days-For-A-Button-To-Be-Clicked-On-A-Screen.

(It’s good to see Pat’s illness on Friday hasn’t removed his ability to get ignorantly wound up about unimportant things – Squage)


(It’s almost too easy, this… – Squage)

Frackin’ rackin’ brackin’,


by Pat
on Jan 11th, 2008


YES! That’s right!

That’s right, following my 3 hour lessons in Milton Keynes snowdome, I’ve decided to up the ante a little for the remaining lessons: Jimbo (from work) and myself (and Squage, natch) are heading off to the south of France in just over a week for a week of Snow Boarding fun amoungst beautiful scenery! In the words of Peter Griffin, it’s going to be freakin’ awesome:

The Chalet.

The Resort.

This is the connected (massive) Les Arcs

Fortunately James and I have been down the gym 5 times this week and planning at least 4 next week too, so we’ll be in some kind of fit state to give it a go! I’m still gonna ache like a bastard but you know what: I don’t care. It’s going to be SO worth it.

Expect a full report on my return :-)

On in the mean time, today is the return of the Daily Photo. Today it’s of two stuffed toys on Reg’s desk at work:

2008-01-11: Ride 'Em IUM Monkey!

Ride ’em, IUM * Monkey!



* IUM = Image Utility Model. Basically it’s a printer leasing scheme, but as it’s at my place of work it needs to ensure it’s got a TLA **

** Tasty Lumpy Artichoke

by Pat
on Nov 21st, 2007


F*£king Legend!

“What the hell?” You might ask. Well, if you did then I guess you’ve never seen Kevin Bloody Wilson live, because if you’d seen him you’d know he ends up coming back to that song salute several times during a set.

You’d also know that he’s fecking hilarious!

Last Tuesday evening the Old Server Team Crew (consisting of Jimbo, Gib, Tony and myself) trundled along Saffend sea front and to the Cliffs Pavilion Theatre for a night of entertainment. And entertained we were.

After a long and taxing (for old man Tony anyway ;-) ) walk up the steps to the Cliffs, we made it to the bar to grab a nice chilled pint to start the evening off. Alas, it seemed for some reason the Cliffs figured it only needed 2 rather slow bar staff to cater for many, many beer hungry attendees so by the time I’d got served I ended up getting 2 pints each rather than one.

A quick necking later we were in the theatre itself, whereupon James revealed that he’d actually bought us tickets in the 2nd row! This was both great and worrying news:

  • Great – We’d be right there in front of the action with an awesome view
  • Worrying – We’d be in full “have the piss ripped all night” view

You might think that I’m being a wuss with the worrying (Yes, yes we do – Squage) but it’s with just cause: the last time I was close to the front of a comedy gig I had my face licked to death by a mental, sweaty canadian. Phil Nichol’s a frightening man.

Anyway I needn’t’ve worried as both Kevin and his support act were lovely and only ended up picking on one poor bugger who’s birthday it was (who was amusingly unimpressed).

Speaking of the support act, she was great. None other than Kevin’s own daughter, Jenny Talia (yes, Jenny Talia) was damned funny herself, following in her father’s footsteps of performing her own damned funny and clearly-not-for-kids tunes (highlight probably being “The Bastard Song”) with some great chatty bits inbetween to the great entertainment of everyone there.

We like her stuff so much we decided to buy two of her albums between us… and even got a photograph with her:

Jenny Talia (and Pat)!
I was worried that my phone camera wouldn’t quite do the job in dim light, but as you can see this picture is PERFECT so that’s lucky!

After a short interval (and an obligatory pint) we sat back in our seats for the main event… who did not disappoint.

From “Do Ya F*** On First Dates”, through classics like “DILLIGAF”, “It Was Over”, “Five Seconds Of Foreplay” and “The Public Hair Song” to a sing-along version of “Santa Claus You C***”, Kev was definitely on form. That’s not even mentioning the great stand-up bits inbetween songs, or, of course, the ever-returning “Nigel” (who I believe is a f***ing legend).

Kevin Bloody Wilson!
The man himself, although thanks to the Nokia 6300 you can hardly tell…

All in all, an awesome night. It was their last date on the current tour so they’ll not be back in the UK for a fair bit, but if you ever get a chance in future, SEE THEM.

I’d not laughed that much in such a long time… we were all still laughing as we left the theatre, on the drive home and indeed I spent a good part of Wednesday morning laughing at my desk. The last bit was possibly because of the Kevin Wilson and Jenny Talia MP3s I was listening to, to be honest…

Jimbo: I salute you for booking those tickets. Tony: I salute you for driving us there and driving a drunk us back. Gib: I salute you for the awesome 5 litre barrel of joy you provided me yesterday – although that’s not really relevant to this post.

Right, lunch break over. On with writing envelopes and playing with Excel. Live the dream.



by Pat
on Oct 1st, 2007

Best. Winamp. Plugin. EVER.

I’ve been looking for a Winamp plugin that actually did compression / limiting etc PROPERLY for a LONG time… and on checking out recently, I finally found it.

It’s rather humbly called “STEREO TOOL”, rather than “FECKING GREAT PLUGIN WOT CAN MAKE YOUR OUTPUT SOUND ALL TASTY, LIKE” and if (like me) you’re a bit of a saddo and like to have your songs sounding as though they’re playing on a radio station, you really should go here and download it.

Couple it with Sqrsoft‘s very tasty Advanced Crossfading Output plugin and you’ll be laffing all the way to the bank (where you’ll take out some money in order to buy that £100 boxed set of old Radio Caroline Jingles…)!


P.S. I’m actually interested in this for some podcast / online radio ideas I’ve got, not because I’m a sad case. Well, not only because I’m a sad case…