Friday, 24th June 2005

Random stuff…

I’ve booked another driving test (can’t practically – pun intended – get one until August) but I will attempt to move it into a cancellation slot before then. The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) have an insanely ludicrous telephone automation system which requires no less than five menu choices just to book a driving test – a very likely reason for calling. When I complained about it, I was informed that I could just press “22221″ to get through to a human – I had figured that out, but only after having to call back 3 times. It takes 3 minutes to get through the system if you listen to the recorded prompts and simply electing not to let it think you have a touchtone phone in the hope that it skips the crap doesn’t work in this case. They hired a team of monkeys to implement an ape to text “speech recognition” system which fails more often than it works, or so it seems. They suck. But I’m stuck with this evil government agency for the moment. I haven’t wanted to physically smash a phone like that in a while – congrats on the utter shite phone system.

I’ll probably look into extending my stay in NYC by a day or so since I have a growing todo list. I’ve arranged to have lunch with my publisher (yes, I always wanted to say that) and stuff. Cool! Reminds me that I should probably be writing stuff and not up blogging but meh. I’ve been idling on #nylug (we say “hash nylug” and I’ll never get used to “pound nylug” or even “pound define” or “press the pound key” – it’s “hash” and eternally should be :P ) and have also been checking out Wikitravel for some visiting advice. I will investigate visiting Liberty Island (renamed after the statue) but due to witch hysteria it’s not possible to actually enter the statue (apparently) so that might not be so much fun – though sailing across the water might make for some good sightseeing. I’ve been on to the Ticket information pages on NBC to investigate tickets for the Conan O’Brien show that I seem to be watching more of on CNBC Europe. It’s actually a funny late night TV show – one of the better USian late night TV shows I have flicked over to – and I enjoy the fact that they seem to understand irony and humour in a British-compatible way.

I just got back from seeing Mr. and Mrs. Smith – it had potential, but that’s all. And I paid over 19 pounds (25+ dollars) for three tickets. In a regular cinema. By the time I’d also snuck in a bag of Starbucks merchandise, the total run to around twice the weekly earnings of a citizen in parts of Moscow (according to a Discovery documentary I saw tonight on the girl with X-ray eyes).

Train Ordinal Train Number Date Origin Destination Departure Time Arrival Time Notes
1 32 26JUL Ottawa, ON Montreal, QC 0915 1101 1 hour, 46 minutes.
2 33 30JUL Montreal, QC Ottawa, ON 1000 1146 1 hour, 46 minutes.


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