Around three weeks ago our TV decided to start dying. I say ‘our TV’ but it’s technically mine as it was a Christmas present from Doris about 5yrs ago. She’d actually given me a voucher for a full-sleeve tattoo but when I contacted the artist he’d changed the parameters and a full sleeve turned into a standard size tattoo so I decided to ditch that idea and we wandered off to Curry’s to buy our first Smart TV instead [I’m just that rock and roll]
We bought a Samsung Smart TV and it has served us well over the years. It no longer has a console hooked up because the boys pinched them and took them upstairs, but it does have an external Hard Drive which contains hundreds of movies.
The TV decided to start dying without warning. One minute it was fine, the next there was a large area of shadow across the bottom of the screen, so dark that it makes reading the channel information nigh on impossible. We held off because Amazon had been promising a deal on TV’s during it’s “Prime Day” [which lasts 2 days] Sale. As it turns out we’re buying our new TV from Argos because they have the same thing, cheaper than Amazon and they’ll give us a £10 voucher too. Doris is off to pick the new machine up later.
I’ll be sad to see my TV leave but time marches on and things aren’t built to last more than a few years. I tried to save my old mate, I’ve rebooted, I’ve followed several sets of Internet Instructions [it’s a common fault on Samsungs] and I’ve even called Tech support [first time ever] all to no avail. The dude at Samsung couldn’t give a shit that the TV lasted only 5yrs, and that’s why we’re buying a Toshiba today, or a Panasonic, I can’t remember, it’s not a Samsung though.
This isn’t the most exciting tale, I know this, but I don’t care.
Every 12/18 months we play a little game we like to call “Sky Chicken”, the premise is simple. Our contract comes to an end and with it the previous year’s discount ends too. Our package reverts to normal price and we instantly cancel our account citing the price as the reason.
The first time you call Sky they make a few noises and a rather feeble attempt to get you to stay. You ask for a discount and they might offer a tenner off if you’re lucky – the people you talk to first are the worker bees, they have no authority and can’t issue discounts. Worker Bees are to be ignored at all costs.
Things go quiet once your cancellation are underway, this is the first stage of Sky Chicken and you shouldn’t panic. A couple of weeks before the scheduled switch off you’ll receive either a telephone call or a letter/leaflet offering you something if you stay. This is stage two and you must stick to your guns. They’ll tell you that they can’t give you a better deal and if you insist on cancelling they’ll reluctantly let you go – Ignore them!
The final stage of Sky Chicken is most important, but it takes nerve… it may be 24hrs before the scheduled turn off or it may be just a couple of hours before the service is due to end that the call you’ve been waiting for comes. You’ll find yourself talking to the “Customer Retention Team” and these are the boys and girls you want. These blokes can give you a decent discount and we’ve never, ever, failed to agree a new deal at this stage. They may give you 50%, they may offer a new package such as Sky Q as a special offer, they may chuck a bunch of channels in to make it more attractive but the key is, they will offer something… cha-ching!
As a footnote – I do know someone who has failed in a game of Sky Chicken. The toe-rags at Sky refused to be fleeced and my pal had to start over, total bummer. This is not totally 100% so don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly watching highlights of the Grand Prix instead of watching it live. Cheers then.
No1 son has morphed into a Ten year old. The change took place last weekend but, luckily, we’ve not suffered any ill effects. I’m not convinced that we’ll be as lucky when he turns thirteen, but one step at a time.
At this stage I’m meant to wax lyrical about Tom, about what a wonderful little man he is, how he’s incredibly kind and talented and how he’s absolutely certain to become Prime Minister, or Captain of the World [which is what her indoors reckoned he’d be whilst about 3 seconds after giving birth to him all those years ago]
We usually give the boys the option of a party or a day trip, Tom chose the latter, destination, Warner Brothers Studios and the Harry Potter Tour – sadly the first available daytime slot was September, so that went South. By the time we realised his trip wasn’t going to happen it was too late for a party and as he was at a Karate Competition in London the day before his Birthday so we couldn’t even take him out.
The boys have started a new Birthday tradition, or rather, Nanna, has. She takes them off into town on the Bus and they then do a monster tour of the toy shops. She brings them back on the bus but also stops off for a pit-stop and feeds them loads of rubbish at a suitable venue. Little things like that let the boys know that people not in the immediate family actually care about them. Sadly we’re a small family and there’s only the four of us plus my Mum. My Dad is a dead loss, there are a few Aunties on Christine’s side but that’s about it. My pal, Steve, is Godfather to both boys and he never-ever forgets them at Birthday and Christmas time. He’s not so great at visiting but he still sees them far more than other people who claim to be interested but who never seem to manage to actually live up to the commitments they made in church – not to worry though, as we always say, it’s their loss and we don’t lose any sleep over them.
Tom scored around £60 in his cards, and he’s determined to spend every penny of it! He inherited my money gene and whenever he has some he’s always looking for something to spend it on. George is more like Chris and saves all of his money, he’s probably got more than me tucked away, which isn’t hard.
George has already begun the countdown to his Birthday, I can’t wait to see what [if anything] the Postman brings him…
Around 18 months ago I managed to put my hand into the spinning blade of a circular saw. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing, started daydreaming and absently-mindedly reached towards the blade to grab the offcut from the wood I was cutting. You always grab the offcut because if it simply drops it can tear the cut and make a mess… the problem I had was that there was no offcut, so I simply stuck my hand into the blade, lopped off half a finger and then sliced each of the remaining fingers diagonally. One was held on by a thread and the other three were simply severed. I needed a 4hr operation to stitch the nerves and ligaments back together and lost the feeling in two fingers – I’ll never do that again.
Yesterday [June 17th 2019] I did it again
Luckily this time wasn’t as bad. It wasn’t a circular saw this time though, it was a Table Saw, a Table Saw with MUCH more power than the circular saw. The saw I was using yesterday could cut my arm off without thinking twice about it, so losing the end of another finger was a bloody lucky escape! This time it wasn’t a case of daydreaming, it was just an unfortunate accident. I’d been cutting boards from a 75mm square length and simply reached forward to retrieve the length so I could cut the final board… CLANG! that’s the sound your finger makes when it comes into contact with the blade. The second sound to fill the air is “oh for fuck sake, not again!”
My initial fear was that I’d lopped the finger off, then I thought I’d split the bugger down the middle, but as it turned out I’d simply been bitten by the blade. It made a mess, it hurt a bit and it bled enormously, but there was no need for a hospital trip as there was nothing to stitch, just a mash of pulp. I’ve only lost about a centimetre or so of finger, maybe not even that [I’ve not measured it] and although it’s still bleeding, some 24hrs after the initial accident, it’s only doing so when I use it. Today is a rest day, I’ll keep it clean, change the dressing and rest up, then tomorrow, we go again… gah!
I’ve decided to get back into this blogging malarkey because I sort of missed doing it, because Doris keeps giving me a hard time about not doing it and because, as you may remember, I’ll do pretty much anything for a quiet life or a bacon sandwich.
All kinds of things have changed since I last wrote anything but one thing that hasn’t changed is my ability to swear whilst I’m writing. I won’t ever drop the C-Bomb but everything else is fair game so with that in mind, Pleasedon’t let children look at this site, it’s not intended for little blokes.
Also, if you’re the type to burst into tears at the slightest thing, do yourself a favour and bugger off now. My writing style is lazy, bordering on illiterate, and I generally write the way I speak. Take it all with a pinch of salt and we’ll be cool, start whining at me and we’ll fall out.