Delivery services!

Sometimes I despair.

On 30th November, while we were out shopping, the Post Office, or Royal Mail Parcelforce or whatever they are called nowadays did not deliver two parcels. They did leave a card.

Rather than get myself to the Basingstoke Parcels Office, where there is no parking provided, I arranged on-line a re-delivery for Tuesday 3rd December. Sure enough, nothing arrived. I tried again, and managed to reschedule for delivery today.

One parcel has now been delivered. My expected drugs from Pharmacy2U, a very efficient service – if the Post Office is doing its job. I have been waiting for some of these new pills for over a fortnight.

The other “signed for” package, which I am guessing is a couple of gaming cloths for wargaming, was on the postman’s list but apparently not on his van. He was as surprised as I was.

Meanwhile, last Sunday an obliging Amazon delivery agent decided to leave a cardboard package containing two paperback books in full view of the road beneath the drain point for our front porch on a wet afternoon. Amazon have since replaced both ruined books, but one wonders how much revenue they lose due to idiots who can’t even take notice of the pre-registered “safe space” information.

Maybe we should return to the days of physical shopping on the high street. It may not have been convenient, but was at least predictable.

Sparky says…

Sparky says: “Today we went on a BUS, more than one times. A BUS is a bit like THE CAR, but you don’t have a comfy den with a bowl of water and because Sparkys are not allowed on the chairs you can’t see out of the windows. And the BUS keeps going stop – hisssss – start, so Sparky hid under HIS chair and went shiver-shiver-shiver until we got off.

Sparky doesn’t like the BUS but if HE is with Sparky it will be OK and Sparky will try again another day.

The Pedant Revolts

A word that I keep hearing nowadays is “preorder” (or “pre-order”, as you prefer). I know that both version are is in the dictionary, defined as an order for something not yet available, but to me it is a redundant word and its use annoys me.

An order is a request for an action or delivery at a future time. And even “immediately” is in the future from the time when the order is placed. Therefore, logically, pre-order must refer to the time before the order is issued.

If I go to a restaurant and ask for a meal to be cooked, I “order” the meal. I do not “pre-order” it, even if it is not yet available – and I hope that it will be prepared to order.

The same principle applies if I wish to buy a book that is not yet complete, a new toy that will be released in the future, or whatever. My order is what commits me to buy when the supplier is able to deliver.

That’s it. Rant over.

Not up to scratch

For the past few days, after receiving my NHS “Old People” ‘Flu’ jab, I have been feeling absolutely awful. My chest feels like it’s constrained by iron bands, I am constantly coughing.

I am already taking two pills and a variety of inhalers once or twice a day.

But today, despite the temperature outside being below zero, I have opened every window in the house. It is extremely cold, but I am not coughing. I feel fine.

Maybe I should erect my bell tent in the garden and live there for a few days? Or take a rest break for several months in the Alps?

From little acorns, part 3…

Some weeks on. The electric wiring is boxed into conduit. The walls are re-plastered and painted. the skirting boards have been replaced and all the woodwork repainted.

But the two desks turned out to have the wrong metalwork assembly delivered. we have the smaller size dsk and the larger size frame. After a week of telephone calls we have been promised replacements “within 10 working days”.

This still leaves the house full of displaced stuff and a half-built desk in the middle of the office.

And we are still waiting for the electrician to return and re-enable the socket that he disabled when fitting the new switch board under the stairs.

And only a month until Christmas. More “Ho-Hum” than “Ho-Ho-Ho” in this household.

Wargaming activity

A wargaming update

Today, apart from my regular daily update on World War Two as a documentary and a map gaming project I managed a little painting and preparation.

First I found the 1/600 Lancaster models that had failed to successfully acquire a magnet to attach to their flying stand and tried a new application. This is a particularly difficult prospect, fighting the strength of “Gorilla Glue” against the desire of every “rare earth” magnet to fly off and find the nearest piece of steel.

Then I applied a wash of “Coat d’Armes” Russian Brown paint to several 1944 allied tanks, including the failed 3d prints of Cromwell tanks that I now intend to use as destroyed tank models.

Alas no photographs – yet.

BBC “War of the Worlds”

My view of BBC’s “War of the Worlds”

After several weeks of BBC advertising I tried to watch the first broadcast on Sunday evening and fell asleep waiting for the story to arrive. I watched it again this morning, eventually and after some considerable difficulty, using the BBC “I-Player” facility.

To be honest, I have seen more believable BBC science fiction in the days when Dr. Who was played by Sean Pertwee.

If the BBC had transcribed H.G.Wells’ story into a screenplay it may have made a good 2-3 hour drama. But, like every previous interpreter (except maybe Jeff Wayne), they felt that they had to bugger about with the story. At least the BBC set it in the correct era unlike previous film versions.

Having set the drama in the correct era, there were some fundamental errors for a “nit-picker” like myself. The biggest folly is about signing divorce papers. Did anyone check English divorce law before 1923? Can the writers explain which papers? As I understand it, the only possible accusation was adultery by the wife. This did not appear to be the case in this drama.

And as a (normally military) “rivet counter” why would anyone use a Great Western Railway train from Surrey to London? They may as well have used the Hogwarts Express.

When it came to the settings and “action”:
The woods looked like the same ones used for some “Harry Potter” scenes, totally devoid of undergrowth to impede people running from the inexpicably invisible Martian Death Ray.
There were far too many scenes of actors and “additional talent” staring in awe at stuff that would be inserted later using computer graphics. So much so that it became boring.

There were some baffling scenes of people walking in slow motion in a pseudo-Martian environment. Were these intended as “flash-forward” teasers to make us watch another episode?

I noticed that the series is “based on” H.G.Wells’ novel. It appears, so far, that “based on” refers to the title and the fact that the Martians have three-legged war machines. Also, as I mentioned above, the era is correct, which just about sets this drama above the others.

I will stick with it, if only to see if it improves.