December 27th, 2007


Another roundup

See what it's like when I don't have time to post daily.

As you'll recall, I went off to Julia's father's house on Sunday evening. Monday, Christmas Eve, was a day spent pottering about the house getting things ready, doing random acts of grocery shopping, and cooking a big piece of ham. On Christmas Day itself, very early, I got my first and best present[1]. A little later the three of us traded further presents[2] and then we went to Julia's brother's house for more presents[3], thirteen sitting down to lunch, watching Doctor Who, and a long search for Julia's missing shoe. Boxing day, back at Julia's father's, involved roast lamb and another attempt at the ham. Attempts at shopping were unsuccessful, since the only shop open in Beaconsfield was Costa's café. Julia and I left her father with the remaining ham later in the evening, went to visit another couple of friends, and then separated to head off to our separate homes. I got home at about 21:30 and collapsed into bed.

[1] Two stockings, worn by Julia (wearing very little else) giggling insanely and wrapped inexpertly in a large piece of shiny red paper.
[2] A mug with a picture of a snail on it, a couple of boxes of flake and some flake recipies, and lots of Doctor Who stuff -- the 2007 series box set, a dalek-shaped sweetie tin and a really cool pop-up activity book...
[3] ... and a couple of Torchwood spin-off novels. Oh, and a thing for pouring wine...?

A tale of two techies...

Also as you'll recall, I was expecting two engineers today -- one from BT, one from NTL Virgin Media.

Well, when I got in last night I was in a testing mood so I plugged a handset into my BT line to see how the awful background noise was getting on, and the line was crystal clear. So whatever it was has been sorted out. If you've booked a BT engineer you can cancel the visit by calling 0800 800 151, so that's what I did.

This morning the cable telly engineer was due between 8:00 and 12:00, and at a couple of minutes after 11 he arrived. He studied my symptoms and nodded sagely. He plugged a little test-handset-thingy into the cable and whistled under his breath. It seems that my cable telly signal is about 5dB to 7dB stronger than it should be -- that's about 1.6 to 2 times too strong -- and he thinks that's what cooked my box. He's fitted an inline attenuator and replaced the box and now it all works. He was here about 15 minutes.

So that's all sorted. Hurrah!