If it looks too good to be true…

Well, I got my D520 phone, but alas the thing were dog-done no good. The eBay seller said “100% working order”…erm, WRONG! The camera packed up after I took one picture, I couldn’t get into the music player, and the mp3’s that were on it were corrupted. Beside that, I expected it to be in used condition, but it looked like it had seen a few pavements in its life.

The seller said they were unaware of those faults as they had not used the features on the phone. It had been their sons phone and he had not mentioned that they didn’t work. I sent it back and they gave me a refund, so that was all and good. But then I was left without a phone, as I had sold my own phone to help fund the “upgrade”.

So my search continued. Initially I wanted to get a Nokia 5200 but was disappointed with the camera spec. Then I started to look around for a Nokia 5300 instead. I could get one on eBay at a reasonable price, but I was very “once bitten, twice shy” because of what happened. I looked into getting one new through a dealer, but they are sold out all over the place. Whilst looking for a Nokia 5300, I was also looking at another Nokia model – the 6111. Down sides to that was fixed memory of only 23mb, but it was a decent spec. Then I saw ratings people were giving this phone. Loads of people saying it was shit – a common fault being that it turns itself off and on all the time. Not good.

I relly wanted to go back to having a Nokia phone. I like the way the work. My old 3310 was such a good phone, and although equally my Siemens had been great, I didn’t think to look at their modern phones (of which there wouldn’t be many). So, after more an more searching I have decided to go for a Nokia 6300. It has all the stuff I want, 2 megapixel camera, video recording, play, streaming, mp3 player and ringtones, FM radio, MMS…and even pluses I might be able to use later down the line like Push To Talk. I can see there are down sides to the phone already. People say it doesn’t have adequate internal memory, which does sound low at only 7MB, but it can take a 2GB micro SD card, so it shouldn’t be a prob. The biggest thing people complain about is battery life. At best most people say a 3 day charge. I am use to several days with my Siemens, so I might get a little frustrated if the battery life is really piss poor, but others say battery life is no prob.

I’ll soon see. It arrives tomorrow and I’m reserved, but excited. I REALLY hope this phone will be *it* and I won’t have to worry about upgrades for a good 3-4 years now. Fingers firmly crossed.

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No one won.

So…naturally enough I didn’t either! Well, not the big one, but I did match 3 numbers, so it gives me enough to play again next week, which now stands at £120 million! Last time it got this big they said that if the jackpot rolled again it would be divided between the next set of matching numbers. Not sure if that’ll happen with next weeks draw. It would be lovely though. There doesn’t need to be a single winner of money on that scale. It would be nice if a figure like that could be divided up to share between several winners – as long as they all have good hearts.

Euromillions! 100 in fact…

I nearly forgot! I nearly forgot to put my entry in. It was only a story about it on the BBC news web site today that reminded me of it. The jackpot stands at an estimated £100 million! I can’t even put that into context, so the BBC tried. They say on their web site, that figure would buy any of these:

  • 1.6 James Bond films (making-of)
  • 2.2 paintings like Klimt’s Adele Bloch-Bauer II, which sold for £45 million this week
  • 3 private 2,000 acre islands in the Grenadines in the Caribbean
  • 454 Roll Royce Phantoms
  • 67,000 nights in a suite at the Burj Al Arab 7* star hotel in Dubai (that’s 183 years worth!)
  • A days food for 250 million people in the 3rd world.

It’s mind-blowing! I’ve just put my entry in, so fingers well and truly crossed. I don’t think I’ll be buying 2 paintings or 454 rollers with it though. It would be lovely to do something more akin to the item on the bottom of the list. I wrote it as the list appears on the beeb. Sadly I think most greedy people in the world would put being philanthropic with the money way down the list. I might not extend my generosity to THAT degree, as I would want some of the money for myself and my family. But I would definitely NOT keep £100 million to myself! I would probably use 1/4 to 1/3 of the money for me and my family, then do good deeds with the rest. I mean, you think 1/4 of that some would be £25 mil! That would be more than enough for me and my family. I would only want a few for myself. I think any more than £3 million I’d probably struggle to spend it. I have one sister and three brothers, then all my nieces and nephews (11). One niece has a son and my other nieces and nephews will have families in time. Then there’s Em side of the family – her parents and brother.

I could dream spending it all day! That’s the kind of thing I’d like to do though. Not just piss off to some private island and live like a millionaire, I’d want to do good with it. Splash it around – in the right way!

The death march tolls…

for the car.

The cars problems have continued. After the last post I left re: the car, Colin tried to sort out the MOT failure points. Namely a hole in the exhaust. Other than that, the car seemed like it was running fine. It seemed fixed. So, he did the repairs needed to the exhaust. We had a chance to re-test within 10 days of the original test, for half the cost. Em took the car to the garage on Monday. The car started really rough, and didn’t want to move and kept trying to cut out. The garage is only 1/2 of a mile down the road – luckily, because it only just made it! It PASSED its re-test, but Em only just managed to get it back to her parents house. So now we are in the position of having a fully MOT’ed car, but still can’t tax it because now the engine of the car has seized. There is no point taxing a car we can’t use. We are not going to have a car for some time to come.

I gave Barbara another lesson yesterday. She is getting pretty good. She’s not scared to explore the PC which is great, because the worst thing you can be when you want to learn to use PC’s is a procrastinator.

My birthday ended up a very low-key affair. Didn’t really do much at all. In fact, I stayed home all day. Mum gave me a quick call, just to say happy birthday. I got cards from my sister Cheryl and my niece Bec, and photos of my great-nephew, Landon (Bec’s son). And I got cards from mum (which arrived about 10 days before my birthday, she likes to give herself plenty of time), Mozzy and Em.

In a few days it’ll be bonfire night, so I’m looking forward to going to Borehamwood for the fireworks there. We’ve gone there for the last few years. It’s a good little display. I say little, but it’s a decent size, and better to get to than Luton’s own fireworks. It’ll be on the night of the 5th.

Ups & Downs.

Today has been topsy turvey. Got up disgustingly early (6.45am), as we had both a lesson with Barbara and taking our car for an MOT (road-worthiness) test at 9am. I just knew the worst was gonna happen with that. I didn’t want to think it, but I just knew. It’s a long story…but I’ll try to make it brief…

Right: MOT tests are a yearly thing in the UK. Each year your car has to be tested for road-worthiness…the only time it doesn’t is if it is less than 3 years old. In the UK a road tax disc displayed in your front window is also required. You can’t have one without the other. At the moment, our car’s tax disc expired as of September 30. Our MOT certificate expired before then, so to get a new tax disc we need a current MOT. We had to pass MOT. We put the car through a test but it failed on exhaust emissions. Colin (Em’s brother) deduced that it was due to a problem with one of our cylinders we had been having. One of the 4 cylinders in the engine was blocked and dirty and although we could still drive the car, it was running on three cylinders and not exactly fuel efficient. So Colin has been working on our car the last 2 weeks getting the cylinder repaired and the engined cleaned. We’d had the MOT test done through Luton Borough Council as we didn’t want a garage involved due to potential rorts – that is the garage having some “cock & bull” story about this needing fixing, and that needing fixing and giving us a bill for a few hundred quid. So the council testing centre was good and tried several times to get the car to pass, but the emissions were just too high so it failed. Once Colin had finished the repairs he said “take it to a garage”. He still had reservations about that, but on Colin’s say so, we took it to a local garage this morning – and, well guess what? It failed…not on emissions…surprise, surprise, but because of some hole in the exhaust?! A hole in the exhaust – but it still passed the emissions test? Does that sound fishy? Also, firstly the hole was at the front end of the exhaust, and then (miraculously) it had moved to the middle?! Here’s the predictable bit…£120 to repair with a free re-test if we had it repaired there and then! Seemingly, as of 4 weeks ago a new law came in stating that a free re-test could be giving as long as the repairs required were carried out within 10 days without the car being moved off-site!! In other words…the garages have a licence to rake it in!!! It defies belief!!!! We just ended up having to pay for the test (that was £45 thank you very much), so even better, the garage basically got £45 for nothing. Bastards!!! More time without our car…and a valuable lesson to be learnt…go with your gut instincts!

As for the lesson with Barbara that went really well. She’s picking stuff up really good. Oh, why do people STILL insist on using PC’s and Windoze [sic]??? I can’t tell you how much easier I think it has been for Barbara because she is using a mac as opposed to a PC. I just thank the lord she didn’t take that option, because we DID give her the choice.
It was a full day for a change…and now it’s a new day (just gone midnight) and I MUST go to bed.

The Tracks of My Years, plus Weddings.

I am in the process of doing a series of web pages called “tracks of my years”, which will be songs through my life that I’ve liked or had significance to my life. It’ll be a selection of songs from each year. Once done, I’ll add it to my pages on the right side of the blog. I want them to become a permanent feature of my site, not just part of a composed blog.

Em & I have been helping a local lady, Barbara, get started with a PC (we suggested a Mac Mini, which Barbara loves) and get on the Internet. It’s early days, but we have her set up and on the Internet and today she has successfully sent an email, which has been great! It feels really lovely knowing that you’re helping someone out.

A side issue, just ‘cos I wanna rant. Sorry, in my mind I was thinking. OK, so Barbara getting herself on the Internet is not one of life’s high priorities, it reminded me of the sheer overindulgence that I heard people doing last night on TV. What Not To Wear was on last night, and although I wasn’t actually watching, bits sunk in. It was about mothers-of-the-bride last night and picking the right outfit for them. The EXPENSE some of these people were going to on a wedding was just unbelievable to me! OK, there were some “modest” ones at around £10,000 – that is deemed a modest expenditure on a wedding (not in MY eyes, I might add), but the one that topped it for me was a wedding being held for £23,000!! Let me say that again – TWENTY THREE THOUSAND POUNDS! OK, these days, it might not get you a good down payment on a mortgage, but I would still rather use it on that, than a bloody wedding. So, because so much outlay had been made on this wedding, the mother-of-the-bride was worried she wouldn’t “look” the part, that is, she’d look frumpy, under-dressed, insignificant and not stand out. Erm, excuse me for highlighting the point, but isn’t the wedding meant to be the BRIDES day?! Did I feel sorry for her? HELL NO!! I am still in shock that someone would spend 23 grand on a wedding day – emphasis on the word DAY! It’s ONE DAY!!! OK, it might be the most significant day of your life, so far…but it’s sure gonna make a mockery of that spend when you get divorced 5 years later. It’s disgusting. I could never, ever warrant spending that much money on a wedding. When me and Em got married, our total outlay (including honeymoon) – $A1500. That’s approx. (in today’s market) £600. I can’t imagine anyone in this country getting married for 600 quid. And we had everything we needed. I had a lovely dress, Em had a lovely suit, we exchanged rings, we married in a lovely setting, had a lovely marriage celebrant, hired a nice car for the day, and had a lovely 3 night honeymoon in Melbourne all for that money.
I would cringe at a full-blown wedding. Having family members and guests that I’ve only ever seen on any other occasion at a funeral, having lots of people gawp at me from all angles as I walk down the aisle…the whole cutting the cake, speeches, feast, dance, blah blah blah…it’s just not me, or Em. And as for wedding gifts. I just think it’s sad. I would have everyone pay money to charity as a wedding gift. Oxfam even do a “wedding list”. I mean, for £1600 you could give an African farmer a whole plantation of mangoes, or for £1300 you could have a village run it’s own market. £100 buys a village – A WHOLE VILLAGE – essential medicines for SIX MONTHS! I mean, it’s just obscene. £720 provides safe drinking water for 1000 people. £1700 creates a whole classroom for children to learn in and £15 buys a school desk and chair. 100 school dinners can be provided for £6!! SIX POUNDS! That’s how much a British child would spend on school lunch in one day! If there are people reading this that really want to help, visit: www.oxfamunwrapped.com

Well, that’s my rant.

Why do they do this?

So, I’m at ASDA the other night & I fancy something sweet (as usual), so I see a chocolate mousse for sale on the shelf and think “Yes, that’s what I fancy!” I pick it up thinking that, from the label it looks really posh. It wasn’t until later when I was ready to eat it and took it out of the fridge that what I actually picked up was not a “posh” mousse at all but ASDA’s “extra special” brand, with a newly designed logo.

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It’s gone from this (left image), to this (right image). If you can even see the images! Anyway, it got me thinking how much this must cost ASDA, wanting to change the design of their “extra special” logo? It can’t be cheap! And the other question begging to be asked is, why?  Why change a logo that you’ve only been using (from my knowledge) for perhaps 18 months? Maybe it just proves that supermarkets have far more money than sense.

By the way, in answer to the question I can hear you all asking…no, the mousse was not “extra special”.