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Month: January 2005

Work: Yessss! Another chargeback fought!

Last month we had someone disputing (with their Credit card company) a payment that made to us for over a few hundred pounds! Quite a bit of money – and now the CC company (Visa) was trying to claw it back from us and then hit us with an additional charge.

I spent half an hour composing a nice letter to them, pointing out a few key facts (the customer called us, 1471 gave us their number, all email addresses trace back to the customer etc etc) and sent it to them.

Today we received a nice letter back from our bank saying that we were right and we could keep the money!

Ha! Don’t try and screw the company I work for – we fight back and win! 😀

Techy: Noooo!

Just spent the last 20 minutes rebooting all our servers after upgrading their kernels (the “main brain” of the Linux OS). Then updating corresponding software and making sure they were all nice and stable.

Made the final tick on my checklist and, lo and behold, the DataCenter team decide “30 minutes late, let’s reboot all the servers to activate the new kernel”…

Grrr! Now I’ve got to wait until they all come back up and are stablised before I can go beddy byes. As if 14hours at working isn’t long enough, I’ve now got to…..


Personal: Inland Revenue

Aargh – a day after I receive my login details for the Inland Revenue (tax office) Self Assessment system, they send me a reminder saying I need to submit my tax return by the end of this month or pay a £100 fine. I thought I had to the end of the financial year (April). Gulp.

So I’ve had to spend the last 3 hours gathering all my receipts, P60s, bank statements etc to complete my tax return. The fun part is I put things like that in “a safe place” so they don’t get lost (legally I’ve got to retain them for 10 years!) – but I can’t always remember where the safe place is 🙁 . Anyway, found them, filled in the 10+ page tax return online and for the last 40 minutes I’ve been waiting for the tax office’s system to accept the return.

I filled it in on their website, clicked “continue/submit” a number of times and now I’ve got to wait ages for it to submit something to itself?

I could wait, but as I’ve got £45.78 of outstanding tax to pay (last year the tax office owed me money), I want to get it all cleared. But I can’t have the “tax reference code” from the tax office until the system has submitted the data to itself – grrr…

And there I was planning an enjoyable night “out on the town” tonight. Bah humbug!

General: How many magpies indicate sorrow?

MagpieEarlier today, somebody searched for “how many magpies indicate sorrow” on my blog. I’ve got no idea how they found this site to perform the search – but if you are still around Mr (or Mrs) Random Searcher – here’s your answer..

According to the popular rhyme, 1 magpie indicates sorrow:

One for sorrow, Two for joy
Three for a girl, Four for a boy
Five for silver, Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told.

But there’s also:
One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil’s own sel’.

and from Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:
One’s sorrow, two’s mirth,
Three’s a wedding, four’s a birth,
Five’s a christening, six a dearth,
Seven’s heaven, eight is hell,
And nine’s the devil his old self.

Blogging: Redesign completed

Blog view on 9th Jan 2005Well, I’ve now finished the redesign of my blog (I think it’s the 3rd redesign so far) . It makes use of PHP, Javascript and CSS – and looks best in Mozilla Firefox (the little “date tabs”/”comments left” etc have rounded corners in Firefox instead of just being square tabs). The HTML (at least of the index page) validates and the CSS nearly validates (just the -moz specific attributes fail the validation – the W3C CSS validator should skip over ‘vendor specific tags’).

I’ve now reinstalled MT Refsearch (which performs a search on the site if a visitor comes from a major search engine), CacheRemote (to cache my blogroll: I did want to get it working with Gravatar – but they seem to be having DNS issues at the moment), MT Blacklist (to help block out spam), MT Macro (for the little smilies and Amazon links), and finally Neil Turner’s PHP TypeKey system.

Now just to get another site designed….