Monthly Archives: November 2014

John Lewis: incompetent, unresponsive and dishonest

You may remember from last time that John Lewis failed to deliver our new dishwasher, didn’t even trouble to tell us that they weren’t coming, and wouldn’t prioritise getting it to us subsequently. Everything that’s happened since has made a bad situation worse. The upshot is that three full weeks after I placed my order, I am sitting at home, unable to go food-shopping, in the pathetic hope that maybe, just maybe, they’ll do what we paid them for.

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Catastrophic failure by John Lewis

Our old dishwasher died. Fair enough — it’s nine years old and has served us well. So we needed to order a new one. Having figured out what model I wanted, I did the comparison shopping, but chose not to go for the cheapest option: instead, I paid slightly more to order from John Lewis, because of their reputation for competence, professionalism and reliability.

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Big mistake.

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Specific is universal

As I was ambling along beside the road into Ross-on-Wye a while back, I found myself idly singing a verse from Joni Mitchell’s song Amelia (from the Hejira album):

“I pulled into the Cactus tree motel
To wash away the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust.”

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But I was wrong. That’s not how the song goes. The second line of that verse is “to shower off the dust”, not “to wash away the dust”.

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What I’ve been listening to in 2009

[This post is adapted from the original text-only version written in early 2010. I’ve edited only lightly. I’m posting it now because I like having all the “What I’ve been listening to …” posts in one place, in a single format.]

This year, I wanted to choose a Best Of collection of songs, in part as a response to my old colleague Alec Turner, who made a Best Of 2009 that was too horrible to contemplate, and left me needing to wash the bad sounds out of my ears.

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Pedro Lopes’s 1990s heavy metal timeline

In response to my rather downbeat post on Metallica, Pedro Lopes responded that heavy metal had actually exploded in the 1990s (rather than ambled into irrelevance as I had rather carelessly implied). In a sequence of four massive comments [part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4], he laid out a listening programme of thirty more modern metal bands. And in a fifth comment, he made individual track suggestions for most of the bands.

Now, with his kind permission, I have integrated his mammoth comment sequence into a single mammoth post, with embedded YouTube links. Enjoy! [And note that I do not endorse any of these bands, albums or songs.]

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Over to Pedro!

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SPOILERS! In which I whine about Doctor Who again

It’s really not Doctor Who‘s fault at all this time.

But, oh boy, I am annoyed.

For tedious practical reasons, we weren’t able to watch Dark Water, the first part of the two-part series finale, on Saturday night when it came out. So instead we carefully avoided all information about it, and sat down as a family to watch it on Sunday afternoon.

And we thoroughly enjoyed it — the sense of mystery, the truly dark horror, the building tension, the series of carefully calibrated clues, and finally the reveal of exactly what the skeletons in the fishtanks were. A moment of shocking recognition, one of the high-points of the series.

Except that some genius at the BBC decided to use this image as the episode header on the iPlayer, so we all knew what was going to happen.

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