Interesting days

Tuesday July 11, 2006

Serves me right, of course, poking fun at the world’s chaos like I did yesterday. I ought to know better. Chaos has a sense of humour but it’s not one that ordinary mortals should try to fathom. Or taunt. Chaos needs no excuse to turn us upside down and give us a good shaking. All in the interest of fun, of course.

So, anyway, two tendrils of the chaos that surrounds us penetrated my defences today and did their best to upset the nice, even tenor of my life.

First off was a strangeness when I uploaded yesterday’s journal entry. When I went off to check that the files were accessible through the browser, they weren’t there. My FTP program had stored them on the server and was able to view them, but the browser denied their existence on the WWW. Oh, dear.

Working as economically as I could I discovered that the company providing hosting services for my website had begun the process of moving their customer accounts to newer, faster, more powerful and reliable servers. The problem seems to be that the old FTP address has changed. With the bandwidth meter on my present mobile phone connection ticking merrily away, I did my best to discover exactly what I should do to resolve the problem but those mounting charges stopped me in my tracks. It seems that it may take up to twenty-four hours, perhaps as long as forty-eight, for DNS routers to catch up with the move, so it seems wisest to wait for things to settle before I connect again.

If I were working with an always-on broadband connection it’d be a trivial problem to solve. Sadly, that ain’t the case and will not be for at least a week. So, instead of throwing good money after bad, I terminated the connection. I’ll try again tomorrow. Chaos chuckles at my discomfiture.

The second hit was down to the way British Gas handles its appointment system. This was the day when an engineer was due to call, between 12:00 and 18:00, to inspect and service the gas heating and hot water system prior to adopting it on a regular basis for future service, breakdown and replacement of parts. He didn’t come. I spent the entire afternoon in the house dutifully waiting, and he didn’t come. I phoned the office at 16:30. “Don’t worry, Mr Bailey, the engineer will be with you by 18:00.” I phoned again at 18:15.

“Ah. I’m very sorry, Mr Bailey, but it seems the engineer couldn’t find your house. He’s an external contractor and, unlike our own engineers, he doesn’t have a GPRS set to guide him.”

“It’s a three-year-old housing estate. You don’t need GPRS to find houses in it, or any other element of rocket science. The houses have numbers.”

“I’m very sorry, Mr Bailey. I will make a new appointment for you tomorrow, between 14:00 and 16:00.”

Hey ho. I shall be sure to be in the house again tomorrow, waiting. And watching. If I see a man in a van, driving aimlessly around, I shall dart out and wave him down in case he’s a lost British Gas engineer with a GPRS set that isn’t working. And then I shall keep a close eye on the ‘skilled engineer’ as he works on my system. It’s hard to have much faith in a bloke who needs a GPRS set to find a house on a modern housing estate. Once more, chaos chuckles at my discomfiture.

So, anyway, having spent the day waiting, and washing down the dried blood red walls in the living room in small doses because dried blood red walls aren’t too comfortable when your nose is no more than twelve inches away from them, I packed myself back into the car and came back to the caravan to give Dolly a good but careful cuddle.

Chaos is having its way with Dolly the Mega-cat, too, you see. She’s having a very bad moult, and is feeling utterly miserable inside that magnificent coat of hers as it sheds the under-hair. It’s a dreadful, itchy process for the poor beast. She looks at me, all mournful-like, asking to be brushed, and I oblige of course, but gently, for fear of making the itching worse. I’ve slipped her a dose of anti-furball stuff a couple of times, and I brush her two or three times a day, very slow and easy so as to extract the loose hair without irritating her skin. Even so, poor Dolly is suffering a bad moult, itching and twitching, and she’d be very grateful for gentle, soothing thoughts from her friends and fans around the world.

All in all, I’m very sorry, and I humbly apologise for upsetting Lady Chaos yesterday because, what with dried blood red walls and being teased and tormented by the forces of chaos, and needing constantly to soothe a suffering Mega-cat, I’ve had one of those interesting days that ill-wishers are wont to call down upon us.


Dried blood red walls



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