2006 Imported From Epistula Moving to Beford Personal

Waste of Energy

So, I’m going to rant about people. In this case, I’m going to rant about a company I’m going to enigmatically refer to as “n”, because naming them as “that collection of morons at npower” would be bad for my image.

For the last ten months or so I have had a pleasant relationship with “n”. They gave me gas, I gave them money. We were both happy. My electricity company, however, who I shall likewise refer to by an initial – in this case “p” – have constantly referred to me as “new Powergen customer” even when they were threatening to kill me for maliciously paying my bills on time.

So I got a flyer from “n”, about how wonderful my life would be if I used them for all my energy fuel requirements. I was sceptical, as often I am, until they mentioned that it would save me money – which I am in favour of – and give me free plush toys – which I am also in favour of. So I phoned them up, confirmed the free toys thing, and signed over.

A couple of months later I got two bills. In two envelopes. One was for electricity, and was excessive, and the other was for gas, and was also excessive. By this method I knew I was in 2006. And I paid one, and forgot about the other.

Then, a little while later, I got a reminder from “n”, with “n”’s logo at the top, reminding me to pay “n” the value of the other bill. So I went to my computer, loaded up my bank’s website, and paid the bill.

Today, I got another letter from “n”. “There the wuck” said the letter, which I am paraphrasing, “is our mucking foney? Phone us now on this freephone number, you deadbeat, or we’ll send the boys ‘round with an axe”.

So I telephoned them at 8am on a Monday morning. “Due to an unexpected number of calls, i.e. any, on this bloody horrible time of the week, we reserve the right to pacify you with yet another bloody recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Or, if you like, the wonders of modern technology allow us to continue ignoring your call without you even being here and phone you back when we’re done killing kittens. How’d you like that? Press 1 if you’d like that”

I pressed 1.

The machine played Vivaldi at me.

I waited a little while.

“Due to […] bloody […] technology[…] we’re […] killing kittens. […] Press 1 if you’d like that”.

I pressed 1.

“Hello person who is on a phone that we are going to phone back, yet who is already on the phone to us, what is your phone number?”

[Phone number]

“And your name?”

[My name]

“Okay. Soon as we’re done, we’ll call you. Kthxbye”

So they waited. And I left for work. And I passed though quiet residental streets, and they waited. And I wandered down silent roads, and they waited. And I crossed a busy roundabout, and they phoned.

“Hello. This is ‘n’, who are you?”

“I’m me. These are my details”

And we had a Conversation. And it came apparent in this Conversation that despite the fact that I am one person, I am – to them – two people. I am the Aquarion who pays twice for gas, and I am the Aquarion who fails to pay for electricity, and there is no possible way the two can ever meet, or give each other money, or interact in any way. In this, it’s a bit like LARP.

So I went over my details a bit, and realised that whilst the bills I had got had said “Gas” and such helpful things, neither letter about non-payment had no such helpful crib notes.

So, I have two remaining questions. One, what is the point of having all my energy needs supplied by one company if I still have to treat them as entirely separate companies without the useful visual reminder of them being two entirely separate companies?

Two, and far more important, why the hell haven’t I got my plush gas flame yet?

aqcom epistula Imported From Epistula weblog

Akismet Spam Checking

Recently this site has been somewhat overrun with spam comments. Not that anyone who doesn’t follow the Recent Comments page or syndication feed will ever have seen them, as they’ve been spread over the last six years of entries. Either way, it’s annoyed me, and so I’ve done something about it.

What I have done is enhanced my existing trust network system so that if it doesn’t see you as a “trusted user” it runs your comment though the all-singing, all-dancing Akismet system.

Now, I’m not entirely sure about this as a system, because the idea of posting all the comments from my site though someone else’s service is not exactly ideal (Esspecially since the authors of it have a not entirely spotless record), but distributed spam systems seem to work better than my old regex system.

It’s on trial until I forget about it and leave it in.

The code for it is in the usual place, I’m using Bret Kuhns’ PHP Class for the difficult bit.

2006 Imported From Epistula

Talk Like A Pirates Day

As if you didn’t already know.

(There is an MP3 (and a redesign) attached to this post, RSS and Planet People should visit the (gasp) actual site.)

Imported From Epistula LUGRadio Live

Work faster

Apple Imported From Epistula

Podcast Subscription List in iTunes

A simple question:

Where does iTunes store my list of Podcast Subscriptions?

Whilst at LUGRadio Live there was a wireless network in the main area, which I connected to. Unfortunately it was one of those which automatically redirected you straight to a login page for every request you put though it. It did this with 302 headers.

So when iTunes decided to update my podcasts it went up to the network, requested the URL, got a redirect and then decided this redirect was the new URL for the Podcast, so now I’m subscribed to a dozen podcasts at

I could unsubscribe and then resubscribe to the casts, but that will involve losing my archive, a lot of which aren’t in the feed anymore. The feeds don’t appear to be kept in the iTunes xml file, and I’m currently running a grep -R wirescanner / over my entire hard drive to see where the hell it could be. Google is being no help either.

Since I can see my next answer being “Use Free Software”, I shall start my defense now by saying that I use Banshee at work, and I’ve tried rhythmbox, juk and all of the others. None of them do all I need them to.

aqcom Imported From Epistula

Search Query Theatre

(All of these search terms have been used to get to AqCom in the last six months)

jenson button girlfriend until 2000

Was he? And now he’s winning the grand prix!

ed2k food of love

If ed2k be the food of love, it’s a food full of bad porn.

downside of aquarian personality

Well, it has a regretable tendancy towards overanalysis, with a slight habit of.. oh, right. Yes.

smittens aquarion

Who is? I wish to know.

power of aquarion


my goldfish is rubbing itself on the gravel

rock song “do do do do do do do”

You are likely to be out of luck with that one.

why miss jones without your glasses, you’re beautiful

… she always is, isn’t she?

“google api”“how long”“like that”“take to write”

A long time.

confucius cheesecake

Half naked philosphers?

“you scare the shit out of me”

Google, so do you.

how to draw ponies

How the hell would I know?

secrets in css to make ur aim more accurate

position: absolute;

new aquarion

Are you sure you’ve finished with the old one?

fruit fucker

I am not a fruit fucker, I’m a fruit fucker owner.

would an ear wig deafen you if it went into your ear

No, but then again most people have natural ear hair.

how to reverse around corner tips

Corner tips are very small, so use a car with power steering.

i dreamed of a circle of blue swirling within it

Er, good.

Imported From Epistula MotW

MP3 of the time period

From the live music archive, Griffin House and other people singing a happy song called Volkswagen:

(If you can’t see this, try the website)

Imported From Epistula

Tuesday, 11th September 2001

I had come back from a weekend in Cambridge, where I had had a lot of fun.

I was working my way up to the decision to drop out of university before the new term started because I didn’t like it very much and thought someone might accidentally kill me.

I was in a kick of titling my entries with computer game titles.

So I was on IRC while the towers were falling

Imported From Epistula MotW

MP3 of the time period

Kid Galahad – Makes Me Smile

Imported From Epistula MLP

Black Ops Drummers

Go to BBC Scotland’s Military Tattoo page, then click on “Top Secret Drum Corps”, then watch the video.

They have black drums and neat hats

(via the monestary)