Category Archives: General

carphone-warehouse

Carphone Warehouse Manager calls me a tosser

Regular readers of this website may remember when I caught out an employee of Carphone Warehouse lying on the blog. They pretended to be a customer of theirs, yet used their work email address (pretty stupid, I know) and the resulting blog from this lie caused even more idiocy in the comments.

Well, now another member of Carphone Warehouse (one of their store managers) has decided to wade in to the abuse, calling me an ‘absolute tosser’. His full comment is below, with his grammar unedited.

Is this really the standard of employee that Carphone Warehouse attracts? If ever my decision to avoid that company like the plague needed reaffirming, this has done it. Thanks ‘Andy’.

MrDaz,

I appreciate this may be well overdue, and you may not even check this pathetic excuse for a website.

But you sir, are an absolute tosser.

Instead of having a “little bitch fit” on your own little pathetic website, why not try and sort the problem.

Yes CPW has changed over the years, and I pray that you have changed also.

CPW is filled with consultants and managers who want to help YOU, the customer, but this is not always pretty and straightforward when issues arise that have a strict policy to follow.

It is also not pretty and straightforward when we follow warranties, policies, regulations etc.

Unfortunately there are a few customers who don’t understand this and feel that the world owes them something and “just because they dropped their phone their entitled to another for free”. (for one little example)

I am a Manager at CPW, I can whole-heartedly say, with honesty in my words I do the very best for my customers but will not bend over backwards for arrogant, self righteous people such as yourself and break polices that good hardworking customers abide by.

So, just to recap, you sir, are an absolute tosser.

Good day

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Shine! Smart Repair

A few weeks ago I had my car keyed in the car park. These things happen, especially when the car park at work is used as a short cut for kids walking home from the local comprehensive school. The scratch was over 15cm long, which meant I couldn’t get it repaired on my inclusive insurance and had to pay for it myself.

Luckily I knew of Shine! Smart Repair, as I had used them twice before (perhaps no lucky to have to use them three times, but you get what I mean).

Here is a picture of the scratch on Continue reading

Up, up and away!

This weekend I finally managed to take off on the taster flying lesson I’d been given in February. Despite booking the flight three times, it had always been cancelled as a result of bad weather (raining, Liverpool, who’d have guessed) and I’d had to rebook it.

This weekend the weather was good and I finally piloted a plane for the first time from Liverpool airport with Merseyflight Flying School.

One requirement for flying the two seater aircraft was that I weighed under 16 stone (which I now do, but didn’t when the flight was booked) and I can see why that’s so important as the plane itself is paper light. The instructor pushed the plane, one handed, onto the runway before we boarded. It was that damn light!

Anyhow, after squeezing into the cockpit, and positing my legs so they weren’t hindering the wheel, we set off for a quick flyby of Liverpool, where we soared over Anfield, Goodison Park and even saw Blackpool in the distance – which I was informed would take about 20 minutes to reach. The experience was excellent, and I picked up my logbook which details the 30 minute flight – counting it towards one of my main goals in life, attaining a pilot’s licence!

I am definitely going again and recommend it to anyone. The whole flight was also recorded on camera, and I should be getting the footage on DVD in the next few days. I’ll add that to YouTube and get it on here as soon as I have it.

Reasons to be your own boss

In the current economic climate, with redundancies and closures happening in sectors throughout the country, many people are taking it upon themselves to set up in business for themselves. Whether it’s for the freedom, the promise of untold riches or just the ability to get into work late and not have to face the boss’ wrath, many people are choosing to be their own boss. But what is the reality of working for yourself in the current climate? Is it all puppies and sugar cubes? (That made sense in my head).

Let’s look at the fiction and the reality of anyone would want to become their own boss.

The fiction:

  • Money: You can pay yourself whatever you want
  • Freedom: You don’t have to go into work if you don’t want to
  • Boss: You don’t have a boss
  • Stupidity: You don’t have suffer anyone else’s stupid business decisions
  • Holidays: You can take holidays whenever and wherever you want

The reality:

  • Money: You pay yourself only what you can afford, and that usually isn’t much – sometimes nothing at all
  • Freedom: You don’t have to go into work, no, but then nothing will get done and you’ll have no business to speak of
  • Boss: You have a boss. It’s you, and if you slack off you have to deal with yourself, wondering why you can’t pay the bills this month or your clients are unhappy work hasn’t been done
  • Stupidity: The only stupid decisions you have to suffer are your own, so the buck stops with you
  • Holidays: Holidays? Holidays??? Are you serious? You can’t take holidays – who will cover for you?

Do you still want to be your own boss? The reality of working for yourself isn’t quite as exciting and rewarding as the notion may first seem, but (and there is a but) it does offer you the sense of freedom and achievement you just can’t get by working for someone else. The opportunities and potential of becoming your own boss are also unlimited (as the risks, of course) so you succeed or fail depending on your own ability and dedication.

What are you waiting for?

Beer glasses: the bachelor’s glassware

As someone who has had to buy items for a new home, on more than one occasion, it’s always amazed me that the many ‘home starter’ kits you get in Argos and Sainsbury’s etc seem to contain glassware. Glassware isn’t something I have ever been short of, and have more beer glasses in my home than most pubs – as I’m sure most guys my age do.

While it is true my glass collection doesn’t necessarily match, with different branded beer glasses all sat next to each other in various cupboards and cabinets, I never have the problem of drinking a beverage out of the wrong glass – something that I have to put up with in many pubs and bars. For example, I find there’s nothing worse than drinking Peroni in a regular beer glass. If you’re paying £3-£5 for a Peroni (as it can cost in some bars) then you’ll want the entire drinking experiencing that the money affords. In my house this isn’t an issue. Equally, when you’re drinking a Guinness (as I do regularly) you’ll want a Guinness glass to complete the experience. Some pubs have the audacity to serve Guinness in a non branded glass or, worse, in a Carlsberg glass (or some such inferior lager glass).

This annoys me, as a great many things do, so I’ve made sure this doesn’t happen in my house. Whatever the lager or beer, I have a glass available. Where did I get these beer glasses? The same place every guy gets his glassware, and it wasn’t from Sainsbury’s or Argos.

If, by some chance, I have a beer for which I don’t have a glass I can cover it by using one of my Beer Festive beer glasses, which were obtained legally at the Stockport Beer Festival… happy times.

No Audio in Adobe Premiere when importing from a Sony Handycam

Having just switched to a new PC I faced the same problem that bugged me for months with my laptop (before I found a fix and then lost it again) so, as much for me as for anyone else, here is the solution to not getting any audio tracks in Adobe Premiere CS3 when importing files from a Sony Handycam.

My particular model Handycam is a DCR-SR36 – although I believe the issue may affect other Sony Handycam models as well. The problem is that when you take video files from the camera into Premiere, you’re left with video only – and no audio track. The fix, as it happens, is quite a simple one and requires you to download this dll file (right click and save target) and copy it into the root folder of your Adobe Premiere.

Before you do, I take no responsibility for anything that goes wrong – but it worked fine for me on both computers for which I’ve tried it.

If you restart Premiere, you should find your video files now have sound.

On a related issue you may find that Adobe Premiere isn’t playing any sound at all through your speakers, even though you now have an audio track in the timeline. This can be fixed by navigating to: Edit –> Preferences –> Audio Hardware –> ASIO Settings

Then ensure that each device is checked (as they’re not all checked by default, so you may end up with no sound).

This is the double headed problem I just faced today (and again last year, but didn’t make a note of the solution) so the next time I get stuck on it, I’ll know where to go. Hopefully it’ll help someone else too.

Time to replace my car?

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, or if you’re unlucky enough to know me, you’ll be familiar with the fiasco concerning my car. I won’t go into detail (because it’s all on this website in various blogs over the years) but in short I bought my car in 2004 and, in that time, it has broken down a few times, been crashed by me a few more times, had its roof slashed, been crashed into, been stolen, been falsely claimed on the insurance by someone else and has been the subject of a dispute between me and not just one, but two insurance companies (use the category tags below for details).

Anyhow, as I mentioned I bought this convertible back in 2004 and, as has become apparent over the years, it’s not the best car for the UK (or for me, really). The pictures below will show just one of the many problems associated with this very low down, two seater, real wheel drive convertible with low profile tyres.

The last few years have seen some pretty heavy snowfall in the UK over Christmas (probably something to do with polar bears and ice caps) and it’s made my car practically unusable for the duration. I’d have been better off with something like a 4×4 (such as the Toyota Landcruiser I once had) or even a small quad bike or ATV snow plough, which I have been looking at online!

Quad bikes aside (because they would be somewhat chilly) I have been looking at a new car in all seriousness. My BMW is about to tick over the 100,000 miles and, having owned it for 7 years, it’s probably due to be replaced. Of course, it may have 100,000 miles on the clock but the engine has actually only done about 45,000, because it was replaced after some idiot stole it while it was in for repairs and completely knackered it, so it has a new engine. Also, I may have owned it for 7 years, but for 18 months the car was in hiding because Direct Line insurance wanted to repossess it.

For the sake of argument though, it’s a 100,000 mile car that I’ve had for 7 years and it’s nearly time to swap it. So what should I get next? Something practical? Something economical? Something that just makes sense?

What do you reckon?

My Pool Table

This week I found some old photos that were taken during my student days, back when I was young and carefree (and had hair, no gut and had just discovered vodka). These pictures reminded me of my one time pride and joy, my coin operated pool table – the source of many happy nights and one or two arguments.

I’d always wanted a pool table since I first played the game at the age of 9. I thought I was brilliant at it (naturally) and wanted my own table. It wasn’t until I moved into student accommodation in Newport in my third year that I actually realised I could get one. We had a shared house with 5 bedrooms, and there were four of us… so the additional room was just redundant. I checked many pool table companies in the Yellow Pages (because Google wasn’t particularly big back then, it was 1997) only to find that pool tables cost over £500 each.

Now, I had a student grant (yes, back in the days when students got grants rather than loans) so I could have afforded that, but then I wouldn’t have been able to afford anything else (such as vodka and beer, you know, essentials). So I checked the free press, and found a pool table for sale in Pontypool for £150.

Being in with the guys at the university, we were able to ‘hire’ a college van for free to pick up the table, and bought it from a guy who was ‘forced’ to sell it by his wife – a concept to which I was alien, at the time!

As you can see from the photos, the pool table was a central part to our university days and was involved in most pre-night out drinking sessions, or warm-ups.

Eddie, one of our housemates, didn’t like the guttural element that the pool table attracted, with mates of mates often coming round to play on it, and it did result in people staying up to all ours playing when other, more academically interested, students wanted to sleep – but it was an excellent purchase, and one that I want to make again one day.

So what happened to the pool table? Well, when I left the house I didn’t want to sell it (much to my dad’s dismay) so needed to store it. I convinced my sister to let me store it in her garage, but she neglected to mention that her garage leaked… leaked like a bloody waterfall. The table was ruined, and ended up being collected for scrap.

I was heartbroken. So many great nights, so many memories (or rather photographs to tell of nights for which we should have memories) and the pool table ended up scrapped.

One day I’ll get one again.