Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Monday, January 23, 2006


More coffee, more tales of daft customers - Huw's this time, several years ago on a Unix helpline. There's a Unix command called chmod which is used to change the permissions on a file, e.g. to stop other people from reading/writing a file belonging to you. It also allows you to say whether or not a file is executable - you need to set the executable permission on a Perl script, for example, before you can actually run it.

Anyway, someone phoned in to say that, worried about the idea of people fiddling with file permissions, they had chmod-ed chmod so that it wasn't executable by anyone. Thus rendering it completely useless. They eventually had to send out a new copy on floppy disk.

This is exactly why I was always glad nobody ever gave me the root password...

Gliding. Posted by Picasa

And now, to follow up too many cat photos: too many swan photos... Posted by Picasa

Both swans. Posted by Picasa

Close up. Posted by Picasa

Swans hiding in the pond. Posted by Picasa

Swing and trees in the park. Posted by Picasa

Peeling chute. Posted by Picasa

Climbing frames in the dark Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 19, 2006

More Bookshop Tales...

I was having coffee with Alasdair yesterday and the conversation turned to the stupidity of customers in shops (although we both admitted that we're doubtless frequently stupid as customers in shops). Anyway, here are some more comedic situations from Waterstones a few years ago:

Phone rings, Alasdair answers it...
A (politely): Hello, Waterstones, Alasdair speaking, how can I help you?
Customer (angrily): Who are you?
A (confused): Alasdair.
Customer (abruptly): What company do you work for?
A (even more confused): Waterstones.
Customer (irately): What's your problem?

Nobly resisting the temptation to reply "You are", Alasdair managed to ascertain that this guy had dialled 1471 to see who had last called him and just dialled the number it gave him. And then not paid any attention at all.

Another day, another eejit...

Customer: I'm looking for the exotic books.
A (with a fairly good idea what the guy means): The exotic books?
Customer (shiftily): Aye.
A (untruthfully): I don't quite understand. Do you mean Sci-Fi, or books on exotic travel destinations?
Customer (getting more agitated): Naw - the exotic books!
A (stirring): I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean.
Customer (shouting): WHERE ARE THE DIRTY BOOKS?!!

And finally, on a particularly fraught Christmas Eve, after wrestling with various technical problems and preventing customers from wrestling with each other...

Customer: I'm looking for a book.
A (at the end of his tether): I'm sorry. We don't have any.
Customer (fortunately possessed of a sense of humour): I asked for that, didn't I?

Although, admittedly I did once go into a newsagents carrying a violin case and ask if they had any Tunes. Don't worry - the violin case just contained a machine gun.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pyramid Posted by Picasa

Pointed. Posted by Picasa

Purple. Posted by Picasa

No doubt all you cat fans out there have been feeling deprived by the lack of Wimsey photos in the last few days. Or maybe not. Here are a couple of new ones anyway... Posted by Picasa

Trying to hide behind her own fur (and almost succeeding). Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 08, 2006

iPod Flea

This sounds ideal for my brother, who goes in for the OCD approach to music (pick a really irritating song, and listen to it repeatedly for months).


Apparently there really is a Habithat (the company Father Ted ordered a bunch of new priests' house rugs and whatnot from, before Mrs Doyle mixed it up with a consignment of Nazi memorabilia Ted had inherited from another local priest). Disappointingly though, they don't seem to sell items for presbytery interior decor...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wimsey waiting for her dinner. Note the alarming glowing eyes... Posted by Picasa