Monday, June 27, 2011

Not a handyman

if you've read some of the past blogs, you'll be aware that i'm not that good at doing stuff and that i don't enjoy it. last week presented me with two more opportunities for failure, or if not failure, frustration. the first was the continuation of the bt saga; the router arrived. this was good news, we'd have broadband, and bad news, only if i could install it. the instructions were clear, concise and easy to follow and with only 20 minutes wasted, we had broadband. success.

the second was a planned trip up to castell coch on the taff trail. my younger daughter's bike had a problem with the rear innnertube and it was not a pucture. to replace the innertube, i would have to take the back wheel off and that meant i'd have to take off, or at least upset, the gears. i had done this many times as a young person but the gears back then seemed a more simple design but i gave it a go.

out came the depleted socket and spanner set (i lose one piece per job on average) and i was happy to find that i had the correct spanner.

undo nut 1

undo nut 2

back wheel won't budge; there's a screw holding the gears in place, slight panic.

undo screw, pull on wheel and out it comes and something hits the floor. it's silver and had something to do with the screw, but what?

take faulty innertube out and replace with repaired ex-faulty innertube that had come out of the front wheel many months before. slightly happy but a little concerned with silver part.

now put wheel back every which way that i try the gears is wrong.

realise problem, too few hands. try to grow more, useless.

ten minutes of muttering, swearing, cutting hand and still no success.

bring in other daughter's bike. ha ha, that is where the silver bit goes.

helps a bit but not a lot. another scrape and swearing become more voluble. just not enough hands.

what would bellman suggest. break it down into little jobs. epiphany. screw the gears on first, then put the wheel back on. hurray.

put on the chain and check that the wheels move. they do but only just.

*~**^*~~#### the brakes are sticking now. ten minutes of messing with these then give up. take them off altogether, just use the front brake.

all in all nice day.

hope you enjoyed the menu, i'll do the recipe for the vegan moussaka later in the day.

don't go fixing any bikes



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

beards, bt and beauty

this morning, possibly last night, 5.00 a.m i finally gave in to my urge to shave off my beard; the constant itching on the pillow was driving me to distraction, so with the help of my 1950s style razor i became de-bearded. i still couldn't get to sleep but no matter. a haircut later and i looked like a different person, but not one ready to take on the intransigence of bt. we changed our telephone and broadband back to bt and were told that the changeover would be painless. it was not so. to get the necessary codes off tiscali was a marathon and their insistence that should i stay i would pay £5 per month less made me even more determined to go. after arguing with the man on the other end of the line, who insisted that i was being irrational turning down the price cut (i felt like screaming 'why not treat me as a valued customer and offer it to me before i threaten to leave?' but could not be arsed so settled for the promise of the code), i eventually got everything sorted and the (painless) move to bt was instituted. Fot 3 hours today i have been speaking to bt, who neglected to tell me that when the changeover takes place i would have to re-configure my router. never having configured anything before, re-configuring was a step too far. i needed usernames and passwords that i did not have and anyway the letter from bt promised a new router. ring bt.

no sir, there is no router.

it says that it will arrive with my welcome pack.

it shouldn't say that.

it does.

well it shouldn't. i'll ring back

there's nothing i can do. we have to charge £79 for a router or ring siemens.

i can't i don't know the number and i have no internet.

try config\all and look for gateway ip

okay, done it and the router won't let me in. llet me speak to a supervisor.

i can't do that, ring this number.

60 minutes later, sat at home

i was told to ring this number, i need customer options.

ok, i'll transfer you. just in case the line goes dead, here is a direct number.

15 minutes of the same minute of vivaldi's 4 seasons (tedious)

i'm connecting you now.

thanks (line goes dead, several swear words)

ring the number that i'm now paying for.

you're in a queue, it's very busy but we value your call (that sort of shit)

20 minutes of ring ring with interspersed above message.

hello you've reached ........

a very nice person as it turned out and we should be back on line on thursday.

as i was online at home and i missed cardiff singer of the world on sunday, i decided to watch on i player and my love of life returned. wow, wow, wowish, wow, wowee. those were my judgements. the wowee was not so much for the singing but for the singing plus beauty. she won but i preferred the second wow who sung a brilliant ulrica from un ballo, to rival the one that i saw with wno when one of the judges, dennis o'neill, was also singing. the winner was a stunning lady from moldova who sang an aria from my favourite opera, lucia and reminded me of the wno tosca with francesca patane. well worth a watch but i wouldn't change your broadnband to often.