FreshBooks

Archive for June, 2006

IMG_3820.JPGOk so I’ve been bad again this weekend.. The front room is almost finished, and its time to throw out the old and get some new goodies to brighten the place up.

Technically not the front room, but I got Pure One DAB radio for the bathroom (which kind of counts as that’s the next room on the list to re-vamp), I’d been looking for a bathroom DAB radio for ages, and the Pure Oasis DAB Digital Radio is just plain ugly, and nothing else really looked that good. The Pure ‘ONE’ is cheap, at £44.99 its about the right price for a bathroom radio, and the quality again is just amazing for such a small unit. Its just great, meaning that I can now enjoy Digital Radio in the shower and bath..

The front room now has three shelves as opposed to the seven I used to have, so it’s time to cut down on ‘extras‘. The CD’s and DVD’s are slowly being encoded onto iTunes on the Mac G5 upstairs, and after almost 12 years, the old stereo in the living-room really has had its day. So I’ve replaced it by purchasing a nice new Pure Legato CD-40, not only is it smaller than the old hi-fi, its DAB and its also got re-vu, which means I can pause live radio.

Of course the set-up wouldn’t be complete without an Apple Mac Mini to run the videos, audio, and act as the DVD player.. Thursday evening is plumbing in day… Digital bliss and geek gluttony.. Perfect..

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Do It Tomorrow

So way back at the start of last year I went on Mark Forsters Getting Rid of Time Management course in Horsham. I was impressed then with what I learnt on the course, writting him this email, which he uses as a testimonial to how the course and methods the teaches work;

“I wanted to thank you for the seminar on Saturday, everything you said is in fact so simple, but made perfect sense. Just the concept of [method 1 and method 2], all made perfect sense once you explained it.

It was probably the most worthwhile time I’ve spent in a long long time. I purposely wanted to add giving you feedback into my ‘tomorrows’ list of tasks, and I successfully completed all my tasks today;

Today, I had cleared my desk (a task I’ve put off for months), cleaned my house, tidied my kitchen, changed the bins, emptied and reloaded my dishwasher and hoovered within two hours of getting up.. (I even used the ‘I’m not really getting up, I’m just going to open the curtains’ ploy to get myself out of bed early!)

I also went shopping (to 3 different places) returned home to meet a colleague to assist them with some work they need my help with, cooked all three of us dinner, tidied the kitchen again, and am now completing the final task on my list of emailing you.

I’ve found it hard not to be tempted to ‘just do’ that one extra thing not on my list this evening, but I’ve resisted the temptation, and been glad I have. I’ll be putting your methods to the ultimate test this week during my normal working week, but I see no reason why they will not work. Everything just seems so clear!! I’m now finishing my wine, sat at my clean tidy organised desk at home

I really wanted to just thank you for starting me down the right track. I am sure I’ll get better at these methods over time and hope I will be talking with you again soon…”

I still use my Moleskin diary to work though Marks methods, and it really does work (when I make sure I keep to the rules!), and today I’m already well ahead of the back log of tasks I have piled up this week.. should all be done by 5 ready for the weekend..

Marks new book Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management is currently on pre-order from Amazon.co.uk, I would really advise anyone to get it, especially if you have trouble coping with ‘traditional’ time management systems..

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I had a long term, lets say differing point of view with NTL a few years ago, the argument went on for a few years, until i finally threatened them with court action for slander, misrepresentation, sales of good unfit for purpose and breach of contract, so I know exactly where Vinny at Insignificant Thoughts is coming from here..

It seemed all Vinny wanted to do was cancel his AOL account that he didn’t use anymore, he’d had the account for years, but really didn’t use it anymore and wanted to spend the $14.95 a month on something better..

He recorded the conversation which makes for interesting reading, poor Vinnys servers kind of melted with the 510,000 odd hits since he was Digged, Boing Boinged, Comseristed, Metafiltered and Farked.. So there are a few mirrors of the audio available here.

The conversation really is the best example of non customer service in the world:

AOL Rep: “Hi this is John at AOL. How may I help you today?”

Vincent: “I wanted to cancel my account.”

AOL Rep: “Sorry to hear that. I’m going to pull your account up here real quick. Can I have your name please?”

Vincent: “Vincent Ferrari”

AOL Rep: “Hey Vincent.”

Pause

AOL Rep: “For your privacy and security can I have the last 4 digits of your payment method?”

Vincent: edited out

AOL Rep: “Alright, thank you very much.”

Pause

AOL Rep: “OK. You’ve had this account for a long time.”

Vincent: “Yep”

AOL Rep: “You’ve used this quite a bit. What was the cause for turning this off today?”

Vincent: “I just don’t use it any more.”

AOL Rep: “Do you have a high speed connection like dsl or cable?”

Vincent: “Yep”

AOL Rep: “OK”

Pause

AOL Rep: “How long have you had that? The high-speed.”

Vincent: “Years”

AOL Rep: “Well actually I’m showing allot of usage on this account.”

Vincent: “Yeah a long time ago, not recently.”

AOL Rep: “No. The popsferrari account was on 71 hours sine the 24 of last month.”

Vincent: “No he wasn’t. He doesn’t even have the AOL software installed on his computer. You are looking at AIM usage probably.”

AOL Rep: “No the aim usage doesn’t come up on this.”

Vincent: “He doesn’t have the AOL software installed on his computer.”

AOL Rep: “This is your father then?”

Vincent: “Yep”

AOL Rep: “OK”

pause

AOL Rep: “I’m looking at this account…”

Vincent: “either way, whatever your seeing…”

AOL Rep: “Well whats the cause for turning this off today.”

Vincent: “I don’t use it and he doesn’t use it. so were canceling it. I’m telling you he doesn’t use it, and the software is not even on his computer.”

AOL Rep: “Well, OK. Is there a problem with the software itself?”

Vincent: “No. it just I don’t use it. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I don’t need it any more.”

AOL Rep: “So when you use it, the computer, is it for business or for school”

Vincent: “Dude, what difference does it make? I don’t want the AOL account any more can you please cancel it.”

AOL Rep: “Well… On June second this account was signed on, its been on for 72 hours… On June second.”

Vincent: “I don’t know how to make it any clearer.”

AOL Rep: “Last year was five hundred fou.. Last month was 545 hours of usage.”

Vincent: “I don’t know how to say this any clearer, so I am just going to say this one last time. Cancel the account please.”

AOL Rep: “Well explain to me whats wha why.”

Vincent: “I am not explaining anything to you. Cancel the account.”

AOL Rep: “Wha Whats the matter man? We’re just.. I’m just trying to help.”

Vincent: “You’re not helping me. You’re helping me…”

AOL Rep: “I am trying to, OK.”

Vincent: “Helping me.. Listen, I called to cancel the account. Helping me would be would be canceling the account. Please help me and cancel my account.”

AOL Rep: “No it wouldn’t actually.”

Vincent: “Cancel my account!”

AOL Rep: “Turning off your account would be the. worst..”

Vincent: “Cancel the account! Cancel the account!”

AOL Rep: “Is your dad there?”

Vincent: “I’m the primary payer.. I’m the primary person on the account, not my dad. Cancel the account!”

AOL Rep: “OK, cause I’m just trying to figure out…”

Vincent: “Cancel the account! I don’t know how to make this any clearer for you. Cancel the account. The card is mine, in my name. The account is mine, and in my name. When I say cancel the account. I don’t mean help me figure out how to keep it. Cancel the account.”

AOL Rep: “Ugh.. I’m sorry I don’t know what anyone done to you. This is…”

Vincent: “You’re annoying the shit out of me. That’s what your doing to me. Cancel the account please.”

AOL Rep: “Now that goes both ways my friend.”

Vincent: “Good. Can you please cancel the account.”

AOL Rep: “Alright, some day, when you calm down, you’re going to realize all I was trying to do was help you. And it was actually in your best interest to listen to me.”

Vincent: “Wonderful. OK yeah. Great.”

AOL Rep: mumbles something

AOL Rep: “As I process your cancellation request. I’d like to tell you about some free benefits that we provide to valued members like yourself. We will continue to provide you some feature of AOL service even after….”

Vincent: “No, I know the drill, I don’t even want it. Don’t even bother.”

AOL Rep: “If you want me to cancel this account, you are going to let me speak. And give this paragraph, K. Cause if not we can spar you all day. I really don’t care to be honest with you. But you are going to listen to me if you want this turned off. So, can I speak now?”

Vincent: “Go right ahead.”

AOL Rep: “Thank you, preciate that. As I process your cancellation request. I’d like to tell you about some free benefits that we provide to valued members like yourself. We will continue to provide you some feature of AOL service even after the membership has been canceled. At AOL.com you can keep your existing email, buddy list, address list, and more at no cost for as long as you like. There is no catch. This is AOL’s way of continuing our relationship with you. We know.. We know you are going to want to keep your same email. Just go to AOL.com and enter your screen name and password. An email cancellation notice will be delivered into your free AOL.com email address within 24 hours. To complete this cancellation request please enter the” *mumbles rest of sentence*



I used to talk to NTL about 3 times a day for 2 years trying to get my account sorted, and ended up with a pile of paper from them (my call log) about 2 inches thick.. you really have to wonder about some companies call centres sometimes..

Read the Original or digg story

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test shot of the moonThe moon has always fascinated me, its one of those things that however long you look at it, always looks different and gives you something new and exciting to see . Depending on the time of year, and where the moon is, it can appear large, or small, white, or this quite mesmerising yellow or sepia colour.

I won’t even try to pretend to be a moon expert, but I know that right now the moon is a full moon at 100% of its visibility. Shortly it will move into its waning gibbous, where the moon starts to become hidden, before entering a new moon, where it is completely darkened. I love full moons, there’s just something very special about them, and I always get a great view this time of year from the back of the house, great for watching the hedgehogs and foxes by.

Today’s been incredibly hot with very little cloud cover, and the clouds haven’t closed in this evening, so I decided to try and get some shots of the moon while the conditions were good. Although last nights moon was a lot better to look at, its tonight that I can’t sleep and needed something to occupy my mind.

I’ve been reading a little about how to take photos of the moon, and its not actually as straight forward as it seems, at least not to me. I followed some of these bits of advise to take this photo.

Taken with my 300mm lens I definitely think I need to get a x2 converter for my Canon 350. The tripod, 300mm and cable release help, but they really fall a little short of getting the sort of photo I’d like. I’ve seen some amazing moon shots, but I think I need to go up to about 600mm to get a decent image, this one really isn’t crisp or large enough to really do justice to just how wonderful the moon can look.

So I think I’ll need to add more camera accessories to that ever growing shopping list of toys..

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