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well we know where we are going, but we dont know where we have been
...now I will be the first to admit that direction and me are not the best of friends, I get lost in my own yard but we had this trip to Ipswich planned, and we consulted the oracle that is "Google" maps and got directions on how to get there, all very i-gen of us. That was our FIRST mistake. We were counting on the reversibility of those directions to get home, that was our THIRD mistake. Following instructions that say stay on this road for 2.5km and then turn right relies on someone in the car actually watching the odometer, that was our SECOND mistake. We arrived at one end of the street, only to discover that it was in two parts, and the house we wanted was in the other part, and there was suburban wilderness in between... now we can negotiate a block ok, and did, but did not pay attention to the right, then left then left then right then left then right. We parked at our destination in supreme confidence, then had a great time catching up with friends, altering the blood-alcohol levels slightly, but not excessively.
Home time was ... interesting. It was dark, we were tired, and the suburbs were bewildering, full of streets that we were sure we recognized, because we continually re-encountered them looking for a way out, or a major road, or something that actually appeared on our aged refidex [mistake number FOUR: keeping a UBD that is more than 10 years old in the car as a "backup navigation aid" is not even close to a plan], having abandoned the google instructions after the ninth or tenth wrong turn, just about the time the weeping, wailing and recrimination began. When we finally got our bearings, nearly an HOUR after leaving the party, and still in the burbs of deepest Ipswich, the refidex was upside down, slightly frayed but not as frayed as the couple with failing eyesight and a micro-torch with failing batteries valiantly trying to use it ... that feeling you get when you travel a route that is mostly unfamiliar and turn into a street you finally do actually recognise, is amazing. I have seen the world through the eyes of a great explorer, returning home.
... now I have had many transformative moments in my life, times when you just know things are never going to be the same. We researched and then purchased a TOMTOM Satellite Navigation system - a little plastic pal that is fun to be with [now with GPP] having looked at feature sets and playing with the software on a bunch [including Garmin, Navman and Mio], we liked the simplicity of interface, powerful tools and the ease of use [without referring to any manual]. Out of the box it has been a joy ... it has a personality [I refer to it as "the other woman"] that we instantly technopormorphized, initially she was voiced with a lovely English synthe-voice called "Jane UK", who soothingly and in a sultry sort of way planned out rout, preemptively suggested what lane to be in, when a turnoff is coming up and speaks and graphically displays the route in high-contrast for aged and failing eyes. Subsequently, "Jane" has morphed into "Jo" with a free downloaded voice of Joanna Lumley [from AbFab] who now says "You have reached your destination, darling" is breathy and sultry tones that makes both of us blush and grin. What a wonderful world, how did we manage before we had one of these? It will be interesting to see how this relationship develops, as, rarely has a bit of technology so instantly and seamlessly slotted into our lives.
and we know what we are knowing, but we cant say what we have seen
... now I do not like credit, but we use it in an advised way, utilizing plastic only as a convenience because carrying the equivalent cash is not fun or safe. We have been careful, well I thought that was the case ... you never know. I was in the backwoods of the Sunshine Coast the day before xmas eve when I got a text from "she who must be obeyed" to contact the bank regarding a detected fraud. Panicking, I devised a plan to contact the bank that did not use the supplied phone number [figuring it could be a scammer], got put through via the yellow pages directory assistance to the card fraud squad [a crap telly series waiting to be made] in Melbourne. They quizzed me to determine that I was actually me and not someone pretending to be me - in the end even I was not sure. They asked me about three transactions to a UK online company made at 4am the day before and was it me that made them ... it was not, so someone had our card details and was spending up big at our expense. The bank, noticing these "odd" transactions had contacted us - what great service. The cards were, on my insistence, canceled, we would receive paperwork in the mail to claim back the fraudulent purchases, NEW NEW cards would be re-issued within 5 working days [timestamp: 23d Dec... mmkay], all good, we would cope.
They had already issued us with new cards, because the old ones expired, fair enuff. Some time after xmas the cards arrived, then the pins arrived a few days after, then we were ok again, started living life again, spending carefully, etc. Then, for some reason, the cards began to be declined - visited a bank branch to talk to a human known as a "teller", only to be told that the cards were marked as "fraudulent" again. After a half an hour or so of digging around and being put on hold we discovered apparently some numb-nut received our claim forms for the previous fraudulent payments, noticed we had active credit accounts and decided to block them, without checking that the numbers of the frauded account and the NEW account were different.
...now I do not often get cross, really I am usually the calm composed and wittily coherent one, it is rarely a good idea in a bank, with plexiglass barriers and security cameras, but I am afraid I lost it - the upshot of it was they had canceled the NEW NEW cards and were about to issue NEW NEW NEW cards, urgently whatever that meant. They apologized, I explained how incredulous it was that a financial institution could cancel an account without actually looking at the account number, then the teller apologetically suggested it may have been "a trainee" that made the mistake - well, that calmed me down, NOT. "She who must be obeyed", later in the car on the way home, commented "gee honey, it is usually me that gets angry in a situation like that". Still awaiting a working bit of plastic, yet to calm down ... you get that.
and were not little children, and we know what we want
...buying on impulse is not something I am comfortable doing, but when a service comes along that uses impulse as its marketing model, things get interesting. To fill you in, I promised myself a USB turntable for xmas [the kids were to put in some, I would top up the remaining cost] and a place called ZAZZ was suggested to me by a friend [thx aA]. They market ONE product per day. One day, a USB turntable appeared, the cost was competitive and I bought it. A few days later they had a webcam, it too was something I was going to buy, so I bought it. Yee gods someone with a spending problem would have issues with this sort of marketing, because I found myself trying to convince myself that I needed that USB drink cooler, that the fluorescent wrist bands would be useful, that the remote control lemon was a good idea and the digital juggling balls were well made ... mind you, this is not that different to the "shopping channel" except you get no free steak knives.
The upshot is, now I can begin the vinyl conversion programme - it is going to take a while but some of my rare LPs will be ripped to MP3 so I can listen to them again. What a world we live in hey?
and the future is certain, give us time to work it out
"Road to Nowhere" by Talking Heads, off the "Little Creatures" album - folksy but fun
GPX (acro.) Global Positioning eX system; the habit of informing people where they have seen ones ex-lover. Women in particular seem to think seeing their significant others ex is a reason in itself of contacting them. In this way one can track their exs movement without actually spotting them.
previous blargs - :roboter: :time: :blue: :new: :annus horribilis: :hair: :vegicide: :i love lamp: :show: :life on mars: :plumbing the depths: :zoupa: :traces of nut: :freak of the week: :TV or not TV: :screwed: :pre-op: :what a nerve: :five yards: :gone: :one: :three: :four: :techno-logic: :ergo is not a dirty word: :15 mins: :online: :dust, anyone?: :notwerk: :sprung: :drive, she said...: :kidney: :iRate: :monitor: :alliance: :pamper: :allies: :heroes: :area: :appraisal: :barnstorming: :renegade: :where there is smoke...: :noob year: :dalek: :ende neu: :GOOtube: :place: :artery: :sewer: :fnq: :mole: :hols: :vote: :lumberjack: :prune: :plant: :opinion: :audit: :dig it: :neck: :life is a minestrone: :pastie: :fortysix: :away: :fully-sik: :play: :BoB2006: :cOMMunity: :pops: :bagge: :break: :pwnage: :n00b: :service with a snarl: :open: :NOT(advance): :nectarine: :sushi: :who?: :reception: :another day, another...?: :The WALL (reprise): :the WALL [part 2]: :the WALL [part 1]: :>insert seasons greetings here<: :surf: :Owe-Pee: :catAtonic: :over: :cUt: :airCON: :ooRoo: :building: :tick: :you raise me up: :duct: :yogified: :food glorious food: :diurnal anomoly: :operatunity: :wPod: :myPod [pod=foot, ok]: :is this the real life?: :bitter and twisted: :shiny: :Ahh, Serenity: :computer says no: :smef: :Go Maroon!: :best laid plans of mice: :Ready to Rok: :gravity 1, wonko 0: :Kairos 2: :fluv@x: :cluss prags: :LAN: :Axes of Evil: :Little Slices of Death: :Wrapped in plastic..: :A Horse is a horse, of course: :ego is not a dirty word: :Fun & Run: :Hedging and Edging: :Testiculation: :weak end: :I before E except after C: :Reality - hah!: :fluezy: :Too darned hot!: :Eye of the Storm?: :The Carnivale is Over: :Calm b4 the storm: :Asylum: :A Quest: :High Tea and "Back to Asylum Shopping": :hi ho, hi ho, it: :Working in a coal mine...: :Here I stand, foot in hand, talking to my wall...: :Another day ... another day, really: :We're here because we can: