November 14, 2010

Musings for the week 14th November 2010

First gripe of the week: Gas bills. My local energy supplier has said it is to increase energy prices by 7% as at Dec 1st. This despite the fact that wholesale energy prices are less than half what they were in 2008 and the retail price has not seen anywhere near the same level of decrease. My second gripe of the week is timing. Despite the fact that the supplier has had all year to try and include a price rise it has chosen to wait until the temperatures drop and the heating is needed even more to up its prices.

I call foul!

Speaking of the weather (as we Brits often do), this week has seen the start of what looks to be a long, cold winter. Having spent last week in the relative warmth of an 18 degree centigrade November day I awoke on Monday to cold winds, driving rain and flooding in parts of the country. Never has a season's change been so abrupt as it was over the last Sunday evening. Monday was spent filming a new BBC series in the old underground station at Aldwych. The problem with this is that the station - being abandoned - has no heating. Couple this with the cold ambient temperature and it produced a rather chilly day in the office. On top of that I ended up sitting around until 6pm before I was called to do any work AND they lost my civilian clothes when I got back to change at the end of the day. Actually they hadn't lost them, they knew pretty much where they were, but they weren't where I had left them. During the day the unit had moved from one location to another and the truck with our clothes on it had not made the move to the same location. When they tracked it down it was part way to a different location outside London. I and eight other guys had to wait an additional three hours for the clothes to make their way back to us. We got paid for it, but it wasn't fun.

iPhone fun: Decided to purchase a new iPhone 4. This was for various reasons. Initially it's because I can purchase the phone outright and use a similar priced tariff to what I'm currently paying to connect to the network. On top of that I'm currently carrying around an old phone and an iPod Touch - both of which I use in equal proportion.  It made sense to merge this into a single iPhone 4. I was near an Apply store on Wednesday and decided to drop in and buy one. There were plenty on display, people were approaching the counter and buying them, there appeared to be plenty in stock. So I went up and asked for one. But it appears that in order to walk into an Apple store and buy one (at least in England) you have to have made a reservation. This kind of negates the 'walking into the store and buying one' part of it. I could understand if they said "I'm sorry, Sir, we have none in stock other than ones that have been pre-booked", but that wasn't the case. I was told I could make a reservation there and then but that it might mean coming back tomorrow. I walked out and had my lunch. Over lunch I went into the website I had been given (using my iPod Touch) and checked to see when reservations were being taken. It transpired that I could make a reservation for 20 minutes time and get my phone. This means that they had enough stock for me to purchase one, they just didn't want me to purchase it there and then, they wanted me to go register on a web site to get one. My thought was 'If I'm going onto the web site to make this reservation, wouldn't I just go to the online shop and buy one to be delivered to my house?'.

To cut a long story short I bought it. I went next door to the phone company and asked them to give me the matching tariff so I could stay with them and not move to a competitor. They told me they couldn't,  and gave me the phone so I could speak to their head office staff. I explained to head office that I was a loyal customer, had purchased an iPhone and wanted them to match the tariff of their competitors so that I could stay with them. (In reality the difference was £5 per month) They wouldn't do it. I told them I was leaving and they thanked me for my business. I then went to the shop round the corner (the competitors) and signed up for the new tariff.

So, with the phone purchased, the new sim card installed, the old tariff canceled and a PC code received so I could transfer my phone number to the new provider, I loaded everything up and connected my new iPhone to my Macbook - only to be told that it wouldn't recognise it because I was running an older version of the operating system than was compatible with the iPhone 4. Arrgh!!!!!

I'm now in a race against time to get the new OS installed and get the iPhone working before the PAC code I received from my old service provider runs out.

Video of the week comes from a guy who has created 'A Life on Facebook'. Watch it and wonder.

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