November 6th, 2003

Amazon rant

I ought to know better by now, really I ought, than to order anything at all time-critical from Amazon.

You look at an item, and it says on the main page "usually dispatched within 1-2 days", let's say, for argument's sake. You place an order, and miraculously availability is now "3-5 weeks".

Or you look at an item, and it says on its page "usually dispatched within 1-2 days". You place an order, and it still looks like 1-2 days. And then you go back a few days later, wondering why it hasn't been dispatched yet, and now it says "3-5 weeks". And you swear a lot, because it was a birthday present for someone whose birthday was, at the time of order, a couple of weeks away.

If they're going to change availability on something already ordered, WHY THE HELL can't they send out an email telling the person who ordered it about this? Do they think we have nothing better to do than to sit there, constantly refreshing the cutesily-named "Where's My Stuff?" page, to see what random time they've picked for delivery this hour?


So, as part of the impending office move, I will need some new phone lines at home.

I called BT, they told me their price (79 pounds a line for install, 14/month line rental, doubtless all plus VAT).

NTL, once we'd figured out what area I was in (I remember this problem from trying to get stuff from them as a residential account; we're very close to the boundary between two of their areas and it's not obvious to the casual observer which one we fall into), very politely told me to go to BT; though their installation and rental is slightly cheaper, they have a £250/month minimum call spend.


Well, guess it'll be BT then, it makes my decision easier...

Speccy bibliogirl

I went to the optician's for my checkup yesterday, and she took one look at my lenses and started muttering Dark Imprecations about their fit, or lack of same, and the effect that that was having on my eyesight... so I'm Speccy Four-Eyes Bibliogirl until next Wednesday, when she'll take another look and try to fit me for a new pair once my eyes have had a bit of a rest. Apparently the stuff these lenses (I wear gas-permeables) are made of is not so durable as some of the older sorts, so they tend to warp and retain more protein off one's eyes. Luverly. (They'd had the effect of worsening my prescription temporarily by about -1D in both correction and astigmatism (spherical and cylindrical, whatever). Given that I start out somewhere in the -7.5D region, this isn't good, but I'm told that it oughtn't to be a long-term change.)

It could be worse; at least I have fairly decent glasses at the moment, and they're in a relatively current prescription so I don't have to worry about not being legal to drive or anything like that.

(For our American viewers: I regret I can't find a conversion chart between dioptres and the 20/x notation for vision. -7.5D is the sort of level where your optician says "What's the lowest line you can read on the eye chart?" and you reply "Huh? There's a chart over there?" Well, maybe not quite that bad, but anything below the E at the top is pretty much hopeless.)