Archive for April, 2006

I wish I never have to fix a plug again!…

…screams the man in the “Electricity, our faithful friend” information film. And Lo! Out jumps Pluggy, an anthropomorphic three-pin plug.

“So you don’t like electricity, eh?” he squeaks, in the manner of a soprano made yet more tiresome by helium inhalation “OK then, mister, I’ll fix it so you get your wish!”

And so all the power goes out. Joy. Presently, usually within another three minutes of film, the all-American berk who wished for all electricity to go away has realised that his radio doesn’t work, that all the food in his fridge has gone off and that murderers, racists, and blacks from Texas aren’t being executed because there’s no power.

“Noooo Electric!” Pluggy warbles repeatedly, until the man gives up and takes back his wish.

This style of film, it turns out, was desperately common in the USA, at one point, to the extent that the Simpsons makes a passing reference to it, and MST3K gets to have a go at an especially lousy specimen in ‘Squirm’.

The point there, however, is that the people involved in such films bring it on themselves. Or rather, Pluggy brings it on them in order to satisfy his own disgusting personal kinks, but the effect is much the same.

Residents of Hafan, on the other hand, have their very own Pluggy, in the form of the management committee of Cwrt Mawr, Rosser and Trefloyne. At this point, really, I should point out that I don’t exactly object to their carrying out essential maintainance on the Hafan sub-station all day today, but it is a bit of a pain. Especially since, it turns out, it’s a bigger job than they expected, and they’re shutting us down again at 0800-1700 tomorrow.

The major drawbacks of this, of course, are no working computers, no working consoles (and no TV, but that’s fairly naff anyway, unless you’re piping games through it) and no kettle to boil water with. OK, you can do it on the gas hob, hooray, but the same can’t be said for the coffee maker. Opening the fridge becomes likewise risky, especially on hot days like today, and – for no logical reason I can see at all – it becomes impossible to get hot water from the taps, despite the fact that to all outward appearances, the gas boiler oughtn’t give a toss what it’s streamlined electic cousin is doing, shut off or no.

Still, it should, I trust, be over by tomorrow, and I can get back to stumbling through Knights of the Old Republic II, and ripping stray CDs recently retrived from Colburn.

I heard from a taxi driver that the University were keen to scrap the Hafan vans. This, it would seem, is something of an untruth, especially since someone came into the van whilst we were away, accepted our coffee grinder from the postman (thus saving me a trip into town to collect it when we get back) and changed the bathroom light from a normal fixture to an ugly clinical strip-light-in-a-plastic-pie-dish affair, which is deeply unpleasant and hurts my eyes.

From this and the mammoth eighteen-hour maintainance work that’s ended up happening today and tomorrow on the sub-station thingy, I conclude they’re not, in fact, going to scrap the vans at all, which is very pleasing. I like Hafan; it’s stupidly roomy in contrast to PJM (never mind Penbyrn) and it’s got grass around it and is generally much more pleasant than you’d normally expect for accommodation on the top of the hill. The lack of electric is a predictable pain in the neck, but hey, it’s mostly in a good cause, and it keeps the money in circulation, which is probably a good thing.

Big ol’ rambling post their; apologies. But I couldn’t just write “The electric is off in Hafan today and now, it turns out, tomorrow,” because a) that’d be dull, b) I’m killing time waiting for Dan & Claire and people to turn up and c) I’m paying myself by the word for my blog entries from now on, and I want to save up to buy a Lear Jet.


Three trains, six car journeys and and a couple of short wanderings on foot later…

…Ruth and I are back in Aber, after being exiled by the lack of cash brought about by the ponces at the council. Apologies for the total lack of blogging in that time (assuming, of course, that you’re the sort of person who stops by here or Abnib all the time looking for more of this stuff); my access to the ‘Net has been fairly minimal throughout Easter, ranging from token broadband but too tired to use it at home, to pay-as-you-run-desperately-through-the-net-to-cost-not-lots narrowband in Colburn.

So… Stuff happened.

I turned 21, which is fantastic, being as I’m now able to vote, own my own keys to the house, inherit anything that may have been left to me and so on. Yeah, OK, so turning 21 has got rather less impressive since 1970, but still, it was marginally interesting, especially since I got a whole bundle of cash with which to slope off and go internet shopping. Not quite enough to replace my digicam, but enough to get me an iRiver, and a whole bundle of other goodies, which is fine by me.

And on top of that, Ruth bought me a signet ring, with my cheery little logo on it (the one on the right of the two logos at KTAB (full history of the logos can be found here, should you really care), which is nice and toptastic, as well as being shiny.

Then we hauled off up North, and went to see Tom and Judith in Mauld’s Meaburn, which was nice, although it didn’t last long…

Er. Then things went a bit ad-lib, for reasons which Ruth explains, so we ended up in Cambridge, and then dived back to Newport in a bit of a flurry.

And then we managed to get ourselves back to Aber yesterday, and here we are.

Not especially informative stuff, I suppose, but other things, like going to a Quaker wedding, which was fun and interesting for me (not least because I got to catch up with everyone from Meeting) probably aren’t intesting to anyone else, and whilst it’s your choice to read my blog or not, it still seems a bit daft to take up your time with things about people you don’t know, when you could be off doing something much more useful to the world in general.

Have fun!

They didn’t like me! They never liked me!

Bloody council.

Er, so yeah.

Way back in January, the people in the offices I clean complained about me for not doing a good enough job, and said I only went in and emptied the bins and left again. Which wasn’t true, but I had indeed been skimping a bit on the dusting and polishing.

So I got a vaguely friendly visit from Shaun, yonder Area supervisor, or something, and it al got sorted out OK, and I started making sure I even polished the fairly pointless things, like the banisters, at least once a week (no, this isn’t a nice building, it’s a fairly yuck one with a cheapo set of banisters, none of the good-quality oak you get in the County Offices, or any of that).

Monday, however, I got called by the Council contracts manager, Jasmine Wilson, who said the plebs down in the offices had complained about me again. Which I thought wasn’t really on, since I had been doing the job properly, but it was probably nothing that couldn’t be sorted out with a bit of explaining where I was supposed to have gone wrong.

So on Monday I had a meeting with the aforementioned Jasmine (who’s at least a full level of authority above Shaun, himself two above where I am) and, despite the fact she was gearing up to sack me for the whole of the meeting, she agreed to move me to somewhere else, which was fine by me, since there was obviously some issue going on in the background that I wasn’t aware of…

Brilliantly, not only had the people I work with (who obviously had some issue they never told me, although exactly how or why they’d come to dislike me enough to care I’m not sure, since I hardly ever saw any of them) said I wasn’t doing the job, a cleaner had gone in to replace me some time I’d taken the night off, and they, apparently, had told the council workers in the building (or possibly Jasmine or Shaun, or someone, I wasn’t quite clear which) that the building wasn’t tidy.

Er. Now if I’m charitable here, I could assume that Jasmine meant it wasn’t tidy in such a way as meant I was the cause of that, such as a load of torn-up receipts with my name on them lying all over the floor, or something, but nevertheless, I think that’s fairly shoddy grounds for sulking…

“I went in to clean a building that needed cleaning after people had used it, and it was a mess.”

…doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it? Ah well.

Didn’t matter, since there was some problem of some sort noody was telling me about; I’ve never had complaints anywhere else I’ve been a cleaner, and nor in any other building for the council, so I assume there was something they wanted doing that I either wasn’t doing or (which is equally possible) wasn’t doing on a sufficiently regular basis for them to be happy about.

So, anyway, a wee bit of Dark-side active listening later (because it’s really hard to tell someone off if they keep nodding and saying “of course” every time you point out their faults) I was due to be moved to a new building at the start of next week, and then on Tuesday I get an ansaphone message telling me they’ve not recived my proof of ID for my police record check, and they can’t move me to another building after all, so they’re going to sack me anyway.

Bastards. How very annoying and vaguely indicative of people being got at behind the scenes of them.

So I’ve now not got a job, nor any actual money. This is infuriating.

Whats more, little prospect of getting another job before money runs out horribly. Which rather means I have to go home for Easter because I can’t afford to stay in Aber and buy food. This also is infuriating. Now I have to negotiate the logistics of taking a computer back on the train. Tedium.


Much preffer Aber to home; don’t get expected to achieve things here, let alone clear out sheds and soforth.

Ah well. Sounds like Paul has arrived at the Flat. Zelda Four Swords Adventures time, I suspect.

[slouches off in an unemployed huff]