dryfter: (spider)
Gnnrgh.

So I found a property that seemed good, did quite a bit of research, it looked like it will sell for a price I am willing to pay, etc.. and I registered my interest to get a copy of the formal vendor's report.
I finally received it today, this afternoon, and along with it a note saying that if I wanted to make an offer, I'd need to make it by tomorrow at the latest.. WTF?

I called the agent to double check, but yeah.. They're going to take all the offers tomorrow, and have the property sold by Thursday, he says.
This annoys me because to get an unconditional mortgage approval, you need to provide the specific property details to your lender, and let them carry out an inspection and valuation - the process takes days to a week to carry out.
.. and the agent said there's no point making an offer if it is conditional upon finance, even if I have a pre-approved loan that should cover it. And I'm sure it would, but not so sure that I'll put down $35,000 as a non-refundable deposit. Grr. (Note that such a full valuation procedure couldn't be started until receiving the vendor's report. So no-one can obtain one by tomorrow.)

I'm just annoyed that there seems to be some massive rush here.. The property has had precisely two open-for-inspections, last Thursday and Saturday. Monday was a public holiday, a lot of people were probably away, like I was. There was no time to arrange a building inspection, which I wanted to do too.

So, yeah.. I am suspicious; why the rush? Even just a few more days would allow people to get building inspections and/or valuations from their banks.

So, I've pushed back. Told the agent I'm not going to move forward with an offer, although I am seriously interested. If they find they aren't receiving offers they thought they would, and it turns out the property won't be sold in two days from now, then he is welcome to call me back.

Hmph. But it will sell - I hope the stupid buyer discovers the place is full of termites or built over an elven burial ground and thus haunted, or something.
dryfter: (spider)
Gah, so a dozen of my "friends" on Facebook have added the "L'il green patch" application - an app which purports to "Help fight global warming! Together we can save the planet!".. the app happily spams everyone with requests to grow VIRTUAL plants. Note the virtual.
You are not growing REAL TREES. You are not /actually/ saving the planet at all.

In fact, YOU ARE MAKING IT WORSE. This application is assuaging your guilt by making you /feel/ like you're doing something, so you don't do anything meaningful.

If you want help:
* Plant some real trees.
* Write to your MP.
* Vote.
* Donate to Greenpeace et al
* Sell your car, fridge, computer
* Stop buying things manufactured in countries with poor industrial standards such as China and India. (So, just about everything)
* Harass your work to be more efficient

Anything really. But adding a facebook application is just as meaningless as signing an online petition. It doesn't do Jack, and it distracts you from doing something meaningful.

While you're at it, why not munch a few Soma and go watch some TV?
dryfter: (Default)
Gah! I HATE preachers, /especially/ loud, aggressive christian ones with loud-hailers who stand on street corners.

This particular guy actually had a couple of intimidating heavies standing around to discourage people like me from talking back to him. Great - if he had any real faith maybe he'd be willing to enter into some dialogue about it. Hmph.
I don't mind if people want to believe in that religion, but if they do could they please keep it in the privacy of their own homes and churches? NOT standing on corners yelling into my ears about how I'm a sinner and evil and bad and wrong. (I'd also they weren't brainwashing their children into believing it too.)

After not being able to think of anything to do at the time that wouldn't get me arrested, I have written an angry letter to the council. It's a bit impotent really, but short of finding a subtle way to taser the guy and claim it was god striking him down, what else can you do?

If that guy had been shouting about how the USA has unfair trade agreements, or that almost all politicians are blatantly corrupt and lie, or that no governments will admit the truth about the "war on terror", then he would have been taken down instantly by the police. But because he's shouting about Christianity, somehow it is tolerated, even though he is threatening and abusing a reasonable subsection of society with no justification.

Closer..

Oct. 28th, 2007 02:32 pm
dryfter: (Default)
So all the boxes of extra stuff plus my desk and bookshelf arrived from Adelaide yesterday.. Of course, the delivery guys were several hours late, but a day early..
Today, $1200 worth of whitegoods turned up - and of course, they were several hours late as well. What is it with delivery people? At least they weren't SEVEN HOURS late, like the people who delivered my bed.
Unfortunately, they had also forgotten that it was a tricky location to get to (ie. up stairs with a turn in them) and although I'd paid extra for the delivery because of this, they neglected to send the extra people/equipment out to deal with it, so I had to help carry the bleeding fridge and washing machine up the stairs. ENOTAWEIGHTLIFTER!

Hmph. And because the delivery was 4 hours late, I missed out on going to the beach with people, and I'm grumpy because I woke up rather early two days in a row FOR NOTHING.

My car battery has been charging for nearly 24 hours, and according to the charger, is still only 50% charged. I suspect this really means the battery is just knackered; it's 3 years old, and was bought by my brother at some point as he had stolen the original battery, and of course he replaced it with the cheapest possible, undersized, battery. And three years is about how long they tend to last anyway. (However, it was possible to get a battery charger home from the shops on a motorcycle, but a heavy duty car battery would NOT have gone in my tank bag! :)

If it's charged enough to run the car, I'll go buy some more furniture..
dryfter: (spider)
Estate agents. AAaargh.
I'm really quite pissed off at them at the moment.
I can't believe that they have the nerve to say that, yes, they accepted my application, and it checked out fine.. but that they're going to do another inspection to get a few MORE applications, before deciding which to go with.
This attitude seems quite prevalent across several estate agents. And it's really screwing me over.
If my application is acceptable, then why don't you accept it and let me move in??
Gah!

This isn't making me happy.
dryfter: (Default)
Something I like about London: Cycling along the pretty canal towpaths, as the flagstones clank under my tyres, on a sunny day.

Something I dislike about London: Crackhead (black/white)-trash teens under canal bridges, baring their teeth at me like animals as I cycle past.

What is it with me and trouble.. Sometimes it feels like I get far more than my fair share of it here.
On Friday night I wandered over to the bus stop on Essex Road, only to discover there was a mob of around 20-40 youths wearing tracksuits and hoodies, engaged in pitched battle, roiling back and forth across the road in waves of attack/defence. Pedestrians fleeing down side streets, and shops locking up their doors - and then staring out in morbid fascination.
An armada of police cars approached, and the mob fled at the sound of the incoming sirens - still flinging bottles at each other as they stampeded past the flinching pedestrians who had been hiding around the corners.

The other week there was a "minor" gun battle between two cars in rush hour, near Hackney Central - I gather the only injuries were bystanders hit by ricocheting bullets, rather than the gangs involved. That's only 1.3 miles east of my place! I believe that's something of a first for the area (although of course it has nothing on Lower Clapton).

I thought this area was getting BETTER, not worse! WTF?


In other news: Went to Matt's birthday drinks and dinner. Practically rolled home on my stomach afterwards and had to have a lie down. It's now 1am, and although I've perked up, I suspect my window of opportunity to go clubbing has expired.. :(
dryfter: (spider)
Oh FFS! I know I've said this before, and so have others, but really - Don't order anything worth anything from 7dayshop.com!
They're great (and cheap) if you want stuff like memory cards or rolls of film or batteries.. but that's about it!

I cannot believe how absolutely useless they are, in general.
I've had issues before (and so have lots of friends) where you order something "in stock", then it turns out to never come into stock, but they forget to refund you until you remember and remind them, six months later.

However my current problem is thus: I ordered a camera from them, which arrived last week, but was faulty. I had to ship it straight back to them, at my expense. I asked for them to send a replacement. However that replacement hasn't arrived, and I haven't even received any notification from them that they've received the faulty unit. However I noticed today on my bank statement that 7dayshop refunded me the cost of the camera, several days ago. (Just the cost of the camera though - not the delivery charge. Nor my return postage).

I've emailed them to say "what the fuck?" (politely), but yeah.. total muppets. I'm so never dealing with them again!

Why does this always happen to me??

(In other news - my LCD monitor at home is on the blink, and 512Mb of my memory has developed a single-byte fault. (It used to pass a one-hour memtest86 check fine.. now it fails within a minute or two). *sigh* I should start building mud huts or something.)
dryfter: (spider)
So, I'm feeling really quite ill today. Ugh.
I went out and bought some nice cheese from Borough Market though, which cheered me up slightly, although the pouring rain didn't.
Anticipating staying at home feeling ill for some time, I bought a new computer game to play (Neverwinter Nights 2). However, I've been spending the last two hours just trying to get the damn thing to work. It installs fine, but then tries to auto-update, which after downloading for 20 minutes, tells me it received a corrupted file, and quits. Run it again, same problem. *sigh*

Having downloaded the file about 5 or 6 times now (at 115 Mbyte a throw!), I receive identical files each time (according to diff and md5sum), yet am always told it's corrupted by the updater.

This is having distinct echoes of the last EA patch to Battlefield 2142, which was a complete clusterfuck, and took me days to manually hack until it would work. These are meant to be games, played for enjoyment. I shouldn't be having to beat them over the head so much just to get them to work.

I know that writing and debugging software is hard. I do it for a living.. However, the quality of games at version 1.00 is UTTERLY FUCKING APPALLING, and the patches often seem to make things worse rather than better -- if you can even get them to apply.

[Edit: By using Linux's "unshield" utility to extract things manually, plus someone's 3rd party patch util for NWN2, I've managed to get things work. Took a bit over 5 hours!]
dryfter: (spider)
I get all the luck. Really - ALL OF IT. Read my tales of consumerist angst and woe:

Tale 1) I ordered something off a Hong Kong eBay seller. It didn't turn up. I queried it, he said wait longer, still nothing. Queried again a couple of times, no response. I eventually got the money back via Paypal(!).. and so then the seller files a did-not-pay dispute against me on eBay the very next day. Idiot.

Tale 2) I ordered a compact digital camera (Fuji Finepix F20) from a cheap online shop (7dayshop.com). It arrived the next day, but it's faulty - has a yellow line down every photo you take. Now I have to send it back, and it'll be a week before I get another.

Tale 3) I ordered a silicon case for my mobile phone (from eBay, from HongKong). You can get them for many phones, and they're usually pretty good. However the particular one for my phone is FRIGGING USELESS. It falls off when you put the phone into your pocket, or peels off when you pull it out. >:/

[Edit: And the first time I posted this, LJ gave me an error because I hadn't put a space between tags (just a comma)]
dryfter: (tc_meters)
This is a rather geeky rant, about Ruby. You may want to skip over it.

I can fully understand the being sick of Perl; some days it really gets me down. I just don't see what the "big deal" is with Ruby, which comes across to me more as a novelty than genuinely useful (like so many Perl modules :) ).

I don't really understand their thoughts behind trying to put every feature they can think of in each class.. Case in point, the string class: http://www.rubycentral.com/book/ref_c_string.html

How did they pick that set of operations you can perform?
What on earth is the squeeze method useful for?
Why would you use the replace method and not just some kind of assignment or copy operator?
Why include something like crypt, but not other hashing functions? Come on, lets introduce the entire gamut of SHA-related functions too :) Why not some actual two-way cryptographic functions as while we're there as well?

I guess the point I'm making is that it feels like their design philosophy is not so much feature-creep, as feature-mad-rush.

But some people seem to like it, so maybe I should just go back to coding in assembly or something.