scribbles tagged ‘4 frowns’

rough surface

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Since September 2013 I’ve been using a surface pro 1

4 frowns (NO! It’s just wrong) ūüôĀ ūüôĀ ūüôĀ ūüôĀ¬† Rating scale explained

In 20yrs of buying computers, this computer ranks as my single worst computer purchase. Expensive and ‘unfinished’.¬† The Microsoft surface range is already on Version3 and the company no longer manufactures compatible power-cables – that fail within 8 months anyway.¬† My current power cable has just died. This means I either have to get a new PC or try another power cable made by someone other than Microsoft. The last non-Microsoft produced power cable I tried lasted all of 2 months.

Furious, I was

When I first got the thing the software was all buggy, it took nearly a year of updates to get that working smoothly.

During skype-calls with mum, progressively we encountered problems where she could hear me, I couldn’t hear here her. Rebooting my surface solved the problem. Sigh.

The top volume has always been a bit too quiet for listening to music or watching films. I’ve been using a jambox to get a better volume but the sound keeps cutting-out, even when the Jambox is physically connected to the surface. It gives the impression that the hardware was too poor quality for sound production.

What to do now?

Microsoft will give me (up to) $150 trade-in on my current surface if I can take the risk that they’ve actually acted to change all the problems with the surface 1.¬† I’ll get a year’s free subscription to office 365 and free upgrade to windows 10 when it’s released.¬† Windows upgrades are not something that I enjoy spending half my weekend doing… I’m not sure $150 will cover the inconvenience because I have to mail them my old surface for them to assess if I’m entitled.¬† That means…

  • finding packaging, wrapping it, taking it to the post office, paying for the mailing.
  • Worst of all, that means being without a personal computer for how long? Days? Weeks?
  • I don’t get the advantage of checking the contents of my old computer against the contents of my new one

Oddly, there is still a risk I might buy a surface pro 3. I call this risk ‘optimism’ and a belief that Microsoft learns quickly from it’s mistakes..

Really, I don’t want a sensible plan, I want a new computer NOW!

rough surface
4 votes rating 3

3 bits of fabulous banter »

missing drugs chart

Thursday, September 6th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

PJs12noon 14th August

ward nurse: I can’t find your drug chart, you don’t seem to have a drug chart!

She looked flustered

wendy: I’ve made a note of what drugs I’ve been given and the times they were given to me, if that helps?

The nurse looked more relieved as I read my notes to her. The Worthing hospital team never found my drugs chart. From what I’ve seen of their documentation it omits many key details and is frequently inaccurate – for example the name of my GP is wrong and I repeatedly pointed this out. They normally replied by telling me it was actually accurate on some other document that I hadn’t seen. As if getting the information right on one document makes it ok to have it wrong on this one. This is frighteningly poor reasoning for people that are looking after my health.

When I was let out from Worthing the junior doctor (F2) said that I didn’t have a drugs chart because when I was admitted (reported to reception of the A&E) I’d said that I wasn’t

  • normally taking any drugs
  • allergic to any drugs

I was impressed by how this explanation actually implicitly blamed me for the fact that while in hospital, where they gave me drugs, no-one bothered to keep a written track record of what drugs I’d been given, in what doses, and at what times. Their blaz√© (not our fault) attitude to their behaviour that produced a major patient safety risk was quite Flabberghasting!

missing drugs chart
4 votes rating 4.5

6 bits of fabulous banter »

international humanitarian crisis

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

I hate French men, they’re all animals

puddingSpoken by anyone other than Jane this might not have seemed so suprising. Jane adored France. Studying business studies in French,¬†recently returned from¬†a year’s work experience in Paris. I listened, hoping my silence would draw out answers to the whirlwind of questions running through my mind.

Jane is one of the most beautiful young girls I know, palest china skin, amber glowing eyes, natural ring-curls, high cheekbones and a ski-jump nose.¬†Even in this anger she maintailed a doll-like beauty. Our silence continued. Jane clearly had something to say about French men, but didn’t know how to continue

Do you want to talk about it?

Tears fell. Even for the most skilled coordinating crying, breathing, nose-blowing and conversation, is a tricky operation. Jane was skilled.  I listened.

I was raped

it wasn’t my fault

he was an animal

I didn’t report it

I’d invited him into my flat for a coffee

who’d believe the foriegn girl

french police are men too

they’re all animals

The only real suprise to me was her bounding this experience to focus on French men. Alas, she’ll learn that rape’s internationalised without me pointing it out.

international humanitarian crisis
1 vote rating 5

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for the birds

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

A  birdbath, not fit for purpose.   Purchased at Wyevale garden centres in November, showed cracks in December, fell apart in Januray, returned to Wyevale in February.

After patient waiting for, gently assertive haggling with, ¬†Wyevale staff. ¬† They eventially raised their offer from nothing ¬†because I was returning it ¬†‘outside the 28 day return period ‘ to ¬†a paltry ¬†refund of the current sale, half the original, price in vouchers. ¬†I settled believing ¬†this pathetic show did less than Wyevale is ¬†required to do by law and very glad to get away from them.

Wyevale – not recommended for garden furniture.

Broken bird bath

for the birds
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2 bits of fabulous banter »

surfing. eyes closed

Friday, August 14th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Jumping onto a crowded rush hour Paddington train  I slump into the one remaining  isle seat.    Resting my brow against the seat infront. Breathing slowly, eyes shut,  shut-out the crowded world.

Boy in window seat (BIWS):   are you alright?

Wendy: ¬† yes, ¬†I’m alright, ¬†thankyou for asking, you have a kind heart

BIWS: bad day at work?

Wendy: ¬† time of the month, normal pain, nothing to worry about I’ll just close my eyes and drift away

I surf the pain to ¬†some other consciousness, completely missing the train journey…. ….and almost missing my stop… ¬†

Car behind light-blasts my wing mirror

At 16yrs, the first time the pain stole my consciousness  was from  a chemist queue.  I clutched a packet of unpurchased  pain killers.    My unconsciousnes  chose to examine the shop floor.   A  kindly woman carried me to the local Health Centre.   I woke in her arms and gifted her the contents of my stomach.  

At the health centre I begged the Doctor for pain killers. ¬† ¬†He said pain killers were not warranted ¬†because I’d just puke them up. ¬†That the pain was natural. ¬† ¬†He prescribed lying on my back until I felt able to walk. ¬† Then I should ¬†go home. ¬†

With his words the pain merged perfectly with incredulity. ¬† Not offered a glass of water to swill the bile from my mouth. ¬† I could taste the incredulity. ¬† ¬†Stung by the ¬†indifference ¬†of ¬†professional caring staff. ¬† As soon as I could I slid from the trolley and stumbled out of the Health Centre. ¬† To the chemist shop. ¬† The kind lady ¬†who’d carried me had gone. ¬† ¬†No-one knew her name. ¬† No-one to thank. ¬†

Thank you kind lady.

Since that day I’ve learned to accept, immerse, and surf the experience to unanticipated, inarticulable ways and places. ¬† PMT and Cheese. Mmmmmmmm…

surfing. eyes closed
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Smeggin style over substance

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |
Second in a seriess   of   Wednesday Wendy International Standards of Experience (WISE)  reports that  bring you the information on products and services that could affect your happiness and health.    

This pile of junk has wasted a lot of my time and money (user quote)

The Fab28 in not FAB (Wendy quote)

A recently published user review study gives preliminary indications that 1950’s style ¬†Smeg Fridge ¬† ¬†(FAB28)* is aesthetically pleasing, expensive ¬†and functionally f******. ¬† This Smeg fridge scored a severe health warning level of 26% on the Wendy International Standard for Experiences (WISE) because of its unreliable, expensive, breaking parts, poor support service and short life ¬†that left people fridgeless and with water damage to their homes. ¬† ¬† The score ¬†scraped itw way ¬†up to the depths of 26% ¬†due to the branding, size ¬†and visual styling that influenced users’ original purchase decision.

Study summary:

An expert Wendy (me) collected and ¬†reviewed reports from SMEG fridge owners ¬†then used the information ¬†to complete the WES ¬©√Ę‚Äě¬Ę questionnaire (below) by placing an X on the line in a position that ¬†best summarised the user experiences ¬†published ¬†on product review websites:

Absolutely Fabulous



Cover-it-with-a-brown-bag ugly



                                   Just what I need


Don’t see why I’d want to use it

You’d have to pay ME to use it


Take all my cash, and credit, NOW!

Squeeze, stroke, and lickable


Cooties, don’t touch IT!

Did I brake it or what?


Works a treat                  

I can  use it first time


training-required nightmare

   Snore, Snore, Snore


Fun, Fun, Fun

Its  obvious what it was going to do


it was full of surprises

FAFFAUCEP score of 23/90 = 26%

Source product review websites:

  • Individual reviews on suggest that the compressors break, ¬† the seals don’t work, ¬† the shelves smash, it turns itself on and off, ¬† it leaks, replacement parts are outrageously expensive.
  • Reviews at ‘the review centre’ are predominantly critical with a couple of pleased users. ¬† The comments confirm expensive parts that are prone to breaking. ¬† Buying a new door because the seals break, a frequently mentioned problem, ¬†costs more than replacing the fridge.
  • Australian ‘product review’


  • it is without doubt the worst purchase I have ever made
  • I’ve had to replace the freezer door twice, and the plastic door compartments are also broken. Don’t buy it!
  • Less than 3 years since I bought this Smeg Fab28 fridge, it is heading to the tip.
  • thought it was cool (!) and looked nice but soon found out its a pile of crap that breaks regularly!
  • The seals on the main fridge collapsed within 3 months
  • I have to clean this fridge out more than we clean the car
  • I ¬†have noise like small explosion coming from around the compressor area
  • fridge has frozen up at the rear, and it then decided to defrost all over the kitchen floor!
  • I have been plagued with problems such as the door seal going (you have to buy a whole new door at a cost of ¬£300 plus labour to have this repaired!)
  • This pile of junk has wasted a lot of my time and money
  • One complete ¬†positive review

* this review only covers the Fab28,   it cannot be generalised to other Smeg models.

Smeggin style over substance
2 votes rating 4.5

2 bits of fabulous banter »

Sleepless in Seattle

Monday, December 25th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

Do not read this film review if you are likely to find a one-sided, negative,  critique of this popular cultural icon offensive.   For those interested in reading less offended, more detailed,  analyses of the film this UK website provides some interesting analyses.

Sleepless in Seattle?   Puking in Puget (Sound)

Icky, Icky, ICKY.   It prompted a Wendy tantrum,   small inanimate objects flew,   cats hid.   Evidently this film was extremely popular.   This review is intended to redress the balance of the Wendy-perplexing  popularist view.  

¬†ūüôĀ ūüôĀ ūüôĀ ūüôĀ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†

 Ratings Explained

I could write pages of analysis on this film. ¬† For your readerly sake and sanity ¬†I’ll constrain myself to 3 points and assume that you are familiar with the film. ¬† There are, unfortunately, too ¬†many more that I could make.

Key characters:

  • Male = Tom Hanks = recently widowed father of one son, Architect
  • Female = Meg Ryan = Magazine writer (? I can’t remember and none of the plot reviews I’ve read reference her job, ¬† after all it can’t be important, ¬† she’s only a woman), ¬† engaged to a rich man

Three points of Analysis:

  1. Role reversal would undermine the social acceptability of the plot. ¬† If a man (rather than Meg Ryan) was investigating a widowed woman (rather than Tom Hanks), ¬† while engaged to another woman, following them, ¬† writing them letters, considering a stronger emotional attachment to the ‘stalked’ woman than thier fiance, lying to their fiance, ¬†how would we value that man? ¬† Is this movie saying that it is okay for women to stalk, lie and be unfaithful? ¬† Is it acceptable for a woman to behaive like this? ¬† Is it acceptable for a man to behaive like this? ¬† I’d argue that irrespective of gender this behavior is unacceptable. ¬† That the film places a woman in this role suggests that the film makers, ¬†and potentially viewers, can accept that a woman if deceptive, ¬† unfaithful, ¬† conniving etc. ¬† I consider this a slander. ¬† That it appears acceptable, through the popularity of the film, is more than disappointing.
  2. Widowhood legitimises male singleness. ¬† Why not divorce? ¬† Divorce is more common than widowhood. ¬† Widowhood gives the Tom Hanks character a ‘he’s a good guy’ status. ¬† ¬†Divorce could potentially undermine this status because a substantial proportion of the audience would have first-hand expereince of divorce, ¬† would know that mistakes were made, imperfection is implied, ¬†blame is hidden and not fully understood by outsiders. ¬† Using widowhood was a strong strategic ploy to provide the Tom Hanks character with a ¬†good, clean history that we could trust, ¬† it gains audience sympathy without raisng any questions of potentially realistic imperfections. ¬† He ¬†is portrayed as ¬†unblemished. ¬† Why wasn’t the female put in this ‘above and beyond question’ good person role? ¬† I was disappointed that the Tom Hanks role was placed in a socially unquestionable position while the female role was not.
  3. Humour at the expense of portrayed stereotypes of women. ¬† One of the most offensive scenes involved Tom Hanks, ¬† a male friend and his wife disucssing a so called ¬†“chick movie” (An affair to remember). ¬† The woman describes the plot with emotion and empathy and difficult to understand dialog. ¬† Her husband then explains that the non-understandable description is because the film was a ‘chick movie“. ¬† They then parody her expressiveness ¬†while descibing what can only, pressumably, ¬† be a ‘not-chick movie’, ¬† ‘The Dirty Dozen’. ¬† It is pressumably ok to classify films as ‘chick’ and ‘not-chick’ movies, ¬† it is okay to demean this woman’s inarticulate expression as a ‘chick’ thing, ¬† obviously you can’t expect articulate expression from women, ¬† to top it all she laughs at their woman demeaning humour. ¬† Pressumably because she’s a good sort who understands that to be a woman is to be inartiuclate, over emotional and the butt of Jokes. ¬† What a terrific gal. ¬† I nearly puked. ¬† Some internet searches confirmed my suspicion that this film is considered a ‘chick-flick’ itself. ¬† I guess I’m just not a ‘chick’, ¬† I am very definitely a human being and a female, ¬† just not part of this bizarre patriarchal consipiracy that appears to define women as ditsy, unreliable, ¬† ¬†seekers of ‘true’ love, with bundles of humility when they are the targets of derrogatory humour.

After having forced myself to watch all of this film I had to consume 4 ¬†pots of Tea before I could let myself loose on an unsuspecting public…. …and even then there was some risk involved…

Sleepless in Seattle
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review ratings

Monday, September 25th, 2006 | tags: , , , , , , , , , ,  |

Ever wondered what Wendy review ratings really mean?   You need wonder no more.    Rating system explained:

:-(  :-(  :-(  :-(  :-(  

Don’t touch this, ¬† lest it be contagious or induce severe fits followed by sudden brain death

:-(  :-(  :-(  :-(  

No. ¬† It’s just wrong, ¬† so wrong. ¬† Turn around an walk away before anything valuable ¬†like sanity or toothbrush gets broken

:-(  :-(  :-(  

Thow the phone down.     Icky, icky, icky,   could prompt a minor tantrum involving  some small hand-held household item hitting the floor with a little more speed then naturally supplied by gravity    

:-(  :-(  

Wince making.   What were they thinking?   Walk away now  


Why? ¬† Even lashings of tea and biscuits couldn’t make this work ¬†


Mining required. ¬† Get your spade out, ¬† if you are ¬†prepared to put the effort into ¬†digging for it you’ll find some virtue buried somewhere in this ¬†

:-)   :-)  

Darn good.   Like a pint of well kept real Ale  from a cask in good company,   or a Sunday morning reading a broadsheet in bed with the  fluff-balls snoring nearby    

:-)   :-)   :-)  

Lovelly.   Simply world class talent.   Easily recommended and probably even remembered,   which given my scattiness is a major achievement      

:-)   :-)   :-)   :-)  

Gorgeous.   Oh!   that was good for me.    Expect this review to include a bit of gushing because  the work has  genius potential      

:-)   :-)   :-)   :-)   :-)  

Hero Worship. ¬† ¬† Realised genius, lets do it again, ¬† and again, ¬† and again. ¬† There’s a stong risk that Wendy’s planning a proposal.

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