Just like in those epic documentaries by Sir David, we can see a mass migration taking place. Vast herds of bloggers are moving across the landscape, leaving behind the featureless wastes of WLS and Blogger, heading for the fertile land of WordPress. Only one pair of migrants hasn't made it so far, it's possible that the crocs got them at the river-crossing.
I found this interesting map while surfing:
The source site is http://www.informationarchitects.jp/ia-trendmap-2007v2.
According to mingle2.com, this blog is rated "G" - acceptable for general consumption.
That just goes to prove that this blog really isn't a proper hard-core outdoors blog at all, thus confirming the previously-stated opinions of various self-appointed online experts... but it is cleaner than OM's Bennachie thread!
I've been playing in my sandbox, mucking around with Google Maps and My Maps + so that I can ditch the boring lists in the "been there, done that" pages, and replace them with maps with markers and information.
Have a look and tell me what you think - I'm using FF on W2000, I've no idea what it looks like with other browsers/operating systems. I'm open to suggestions as to how I could improve things, but I'm not very techie, so don't expect miracles!
At long last, Anthony has finished his new site, it's so much better than his old one. Click your way there and have a look around, you won't regret it. Here's a screengrab:
Yesterday, during a tea-break, I read an interesting forum thread started by my friend Parky over on OM (Social Niceties/Manners/Courtesy - Am I missing something?). The main subject was the antisocial use of mobile phones, but soon the tack changed to the illegal use of mobiles while driving. Now this is one of my rant subjects, I reckon that the revised laws (brought into effect in February of this year) just aren't enough of a deterrent, and a general lack of enforcement sends out the message that while it's illegal, it's unlikely that you'll be caught. Anyway, tea-break ended and I thought no more about it for the rest of the day.
This morning I had some totally unrelated good news - I won an eBay auction for a new powerkite (I'm stepping up to 5m, but I needed a new dirt-cheap 3m training kite for those days when 5m is just too much). Then I got around to thinking that it could be fun to take it out and fly it from some of the tops in the Lake District, so I Googled the interwebnet to see if there are any restrictions which would prevent me from doing so. One of the search results was The EskdaleWeb News page, which, on the 9th of July, reported the death of kite-surfer Tom Sellen after a freak accident. It's a short but sobering read, and my condolences go out to those that he left behind.
Further reading of the page led to an article (15th of March) about the Cumbria Police's hit-rate at catching mobile-phone-using drivers. According to the article, they caught 27 motorists in two weeks since the new laws came into effect, each offender was fined the statutory £60 and received three penalty points.
Now, I know that the police have many other duties, and that there are many things that drain their resources, but I sat here thinking that 27 in two weeks isn't very many, compared to the huge number of offenders that I see when I'm up there. Here in the Leicestershire Highlands I regularly see over 20/day when I walk the kids to school and back, 50/day around town, and when I'm on the M6 heading up to Cumbria, for example, I'll probably see 150+/day. I'll admit now that I thought that the Cumbria Police hit-rate of just under two per day was a bit poor, for an area with approximately 420,000 people aged 17 or more ...
Then a copy of our local free-paper arrived through the shredder that masquerades as our letterbox, and the front-page headline was...
"Just 25 drivers are caught on mobiles"
That's NOT during a two-week period, that's since the the new laws came into effect in February, about 25 weeks ago.
One per week.
OK, so the area's population aged 17 or over is lower (approximately 80,000), but do the maths and the hit-rate is much lower than in Cumbria. IMO, that's a poor performance, unless there were only 25 offenders here in those 25 weeks, which would mean a 100% hit-rate and medals all round.
Maybe Hinckley and Bosworth LPU have higher priorities. Or do they think that they have the problem in hand? (No pun intended!)
Just checked the bank balance - the refund from Gear Zone is there, so my bank can now claim it back to cover the credit that they gave to me last week.
I'll wait for things to settle down a bit before I start taking any further action.
Last week my bank's Debit Card Services decided to credit my account with the money that GZ owe me, while they sort the matter with GZ's bank. My thanks go out to Lloyds TSB Bank plc. and their good customer service, nice one!
There was no word from GZ until yesterday, when they sent me an email, details as follows:
Dear Gear-Zone Customer
We have processed your refund as requested. We apologise for any delay and any inconvenience that you may have experienced with your order. We have had some severe technological issues which we have now resolved. We are also recruiting a new customer services team to ensure that your future transactions with Gear-Zone will be to the highest standard.
Again, please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused.
I wonder how many other disgruntled folk have been given the same lame excuses... just what are these "severe technological issues"? FFS, their computers must be up and running, or they wouldn't be able to take orders. And what's with "recruiting a new customer services team"? You mean they had a whole team that was trained to ignore the phone? Sorry, but it just won't wash. I've been bullshitted by experts, these paltry excuses are so lightweight that I could stitch them together to make a tarp. As for "... to ensure that your future transactions with Gear-Zone will be to the highest standard" - ROFLMFAO... it doesn't take a genius to work out that there will be no future transactions originating from me. Those "sincerest apologies" are not accepted.
A quick check of my account reveals that no such refund has been received yet.