Category Archives: Existence

Fucking Microsoft

Brands invest big bucks to understand the customer journey. Presumably so they know where best to mug them. I thought I’d save Microsoft a few pennies by explaining the journey I experienced when attempting to contact their Xbox Live billing support team.

Bear in mind I was only trying to contact them because they contacted me first. They dropped an email in my inbox, all I wanted to do was send them one back.

This is how it went.

Step 1 – Received an email from Microsoft’s billing team. I can’t simply reply to the email (why the devil not?), so I click the link included in the email.

Step 2 – (Not pictured because the experience was too traumatic) Before I could go further I had to log in to Windows Live. This involved discovering my password had been changed, changing my password back, immediately unleashing a barrage of spam on all my contacts, changing the password again, before finally getting through and remembering the reason why I abandoned Hotmail for Gmail long, long ago.

Step 3 – Enter billing account overview, discover I can’t really do anything here, find a helpful link to contact support over on the left.

Step 4 – Get taken to here:

After a few moments screaming at the screen in frustration, I am able to find the link for the Xbox Live customers. Although I note it only offers to take me to another billing and accounts page and not some way to contact customer services. I click the link and hope.

Step 5 – Fucking Microsoft.

Why the FUCK are you asking ME what happened to this FUCKING page!? Oops!? FUCKING OOPS!? Oh, so you moved some things around, did you? THEN WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU MOVE THE PAGE I’M LOOKING FOR AND WHY DID YOU NOT UPDATE THE FUCKING SUPPORT PAGE? I THINK IT’S PRETTY FUCKING IMPORTANT, DON’T YOU?

*Sigh*

It’s just depressing. Unfortunately, my journey doesn’t end there because I still need to figure out how to contact them. Sure, it may be much easier if I started on the actual Xbox website, but the fact is I followed their instructions every step of the way and got dumped on a 404 error. That is appalling.

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What are people looking at on my Flickr? Part one: South Park

southpark characters

This, in a South Park representation, is what my buddies and I looked like seven or so years ago – made during that time. In this fast-moving age, that’s like a digital fossil of my youth.

It was created using a free version of CorelDraw I got from one of those computing magazines that used to come with a CD packed full of demos. I used to spend hours on that CorelDraw; bizarrely creating dozens of 3Dish Star Trek, federation-style spaceships. Anyway, this South Park pic is the most viewed image on my Flickr photoset.

You’ll have to take my word for it, but that is an EXACT replication of how we used to look every day. I’m the second in on the right (holding the cigarette and scowling). I still have that hoody but have been banned by my girlfriend from wearing it out in public – even in private I’m only allowed to don it on “Scruffy Sundays”.

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8 things I might’ve written about over the last three months if I could’ve been bothered

Blogging is exactly like watching a US TV series, listening to indy music or doing something special at tiny, nauseating milestone events in a relationship. If you keep at it, it’s the greatest, most rewarding thing in the world. However, if you pause for too long, it’s all to easy to stop giving a shit and forget why you were so fussed about it in the first place. I mean, Travis!? The only half-decent song on The Man Who is the secret track and I can not be arsed to listen to 3 minutes of Slide Show followed by 4 minutes of silence. Bastards.

Well, that’s just one of the reasons why I haven’t updated Crunkfish in such a long, long time. To make up for this blip in my otherwise extremely blippy posting rate, I’m condensing all the nerve-pinchingly exciting stuff I might’ve considered blogging about over the last three months, but never did because (when it comes down to it) I simply couldn’t be bothered, into one overly long list. Indulge, young patrons of the inane.

1. Backdated Movie Reviews

justin_long_cunt

In an early effort to encourage some blogging, I bought a subscription to ilovefilm.com. The promise to myself was that every movie would be reviewed. This was broken quicker than the one I gave my girlfriend about not digging out great lumps of snot from my nose and wiping it on the side of sofa. Sadly, my first attempt (an intelligent critique of Die Hard 4.0) was so curmudgeonly cynical it depressed me even more than Justin Long’s face. A succession of stinkers didn’t help things (worth mentioning the honourable exception of The Devil Wears Prada – ah, that reminds me, I think I need to add “banging on about how much I love Anne Hathaway” on to this list) and so I ended up not really bothering. A new promise will be that the next movie review I write will NOT rely on sarcy comments and crude similes. Saying that, my last cinema trip took me to Transformers 2 and what Michael Bay doesn’t know about story-telling, character, emotion and, well, good directing, he more than makes up for in gargantuan action sequences that offer the depth of a brownie’s vagina – without offering any satisfaction.

2. Geek Fury

Over the past few months, I’ve been growing increasingly frustrated by the nonsense buzz surrounding Google’s Android operating system. I own a Google phone and it’s alright – definitely deserving of some noise, particularly some clamour over when another update will arrive that fixes some of the more obvious annoyances and preferably gives it a prettification. However, I don’t understand all this hype around rocking Android on a bloody netbook. For the non-geek, Android is an operating system for a touchscreen phone that offers a messy, bloated, impossible-to-navigate app store selling mostly pointless and overpriced apps useful only on a mobile phone. It seems to offer nothing for a netbook. Stop it.

3. My mates have released a new EP!

My buddies, making up the crunktastic two-piece Apologies, I Have None, recently released a new EP, Two Sticks and Six Strings. In the words of Flood and Drought: “They are friendship, freedom, fun and passion and their music personifies this ethos. This EP is flesh and bone and this band is testament to the candor and mettle that turns van wheels, stokes throats and moves cold feet across this country chasing the map.” Great work, guys.

4. Plenty of fucked-up shit from Cracked.com

Every day I don’t write a post is a day when I don’t share some brilliance from the warped mind-stems of the Cracked word pits. Case in point: The 5 Most Baffling Sex Scenes in the History of Fan Fiction. Where else on the internet would you find such a lovingly crafted article about insanity like this:

Tom [Riddle - AKA Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter] remembered how good he’d felt the previous night, how good Indiana’s [as in Indiana Jones'] cock had made him feel. He gave Indiana a lopsided grin. “We could play cards. Or we could discuss music.” He got up on his knees and pushed Indiana down on the sand. “Or we could make magic,” he whispered, slipping his wand from his pocket.

[Hmm...this article seems to have been taken down - probably due to the intensely disturbing nature of the content. Not put off? View the cached page here]

5. Banging on about how much I love Anne Hathaway

anne-hathaway-header

*Sigh* she’s just so lovely. My thesaurus broke trying to find the right words to describe her. An understated icon-in-the-making? A future Mrs. C. Fish? Maybe. Though I don’t really agree with marriage. Do you have to be gay to have a civil partnership? That’s discrimination that is. Sorry Annie, I love you but I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of commitment. One day, people will talk about this great love that could never be…

anne-hathaway

6. Dangerously stupid Americans in a position of authority and influence

7. Atheist Activism

Let’s face it, God probably doesn’t exist. To clear this up, I say probably in the really rather strong sense to mean the existence of a God character is hugely unlikely and massively illogical. I know many people who agree with this view and yet they persist in granting unnecessary levels of respect to religion. Sure, there is a bit of a conflict between the liberal “respecting other cultures and all that shit” stance and the atheist “you believe in, like, an invisible space-dwelling, super Dumbledore?” view, but I’m fed up of otherwise rational people conceding secular ground to the religious types. Try this on for size: religion deserves no more respect and sensitivity than any other opinion, belief, passion, fashion, trend, or fad. Even hard-bitten atheists would reluctantly accept that it’s acceptable for religious studies to be taught in schools. Fuck that. I had to do R.E. for much of my secondary school and there was absolutely no point, other than to try and grant some sort of respectability and authority to the Bible. I want to be more of an Atheist Activist and make more of an effort to kick religion in the nuts.

8. fuckyeahskinnybitch

An almost bottomless supply of hot sluts in fine cuts – passed on by STNF. Fuckyeahskinnybitch really shows off the primary purpose of Tumblr – skinny bitches. Fuck yeah.

I’ve got another 14 things I wanted to get through in this post, but I guess that’ll have to wait for another time. Coming soon… Another 14 things I might’ve written about over the last three months if I could’ve been bothered.

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Crunksourcing – what are my specialist subjects?

An invite to join Aardvark, the really rather clever community answers service, revealed where my expertise lies – at least according to my friends.

aardvark-email-grab

I had a quick play with Aardvark – tapping into the network through MSN. It’s incredibly easy to use and, in my (admittedly limited) experience, returns great answers. I’ve already ordered two books on Amazon based on user recommendations.

Will Aardvark replace Yahoo Answers as the webosphere’s crowdsourced knowledge-hole of choice? Maybe not… As of yet, the Earth Pig has yet to throw me any gems like this…

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Spam poetry #2 – Bigger thing, More satisfaction

Very suddenly and then crumple up and fall—but contention,
and then came mr. Lincoln’s turn. Course of ultimate extinction
or its advocates them but he does not read them, and save
for the only by diligent housewifery that mrs. Brownlow.

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Beautiful spam poetry

You had comrades: but there were some comrades willow trees
and cosy corners, all chastely encased from the bush and
saw the sheet of water stretching whom men were inclined
to take for granted, and why, how big is the ranch? Five
hundred acres.

Seriously guys. I just want a bigger cock, enough with the flowery shit.

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Die young or live in Didcot? I’ll meet you at the train station…

Growing up in Didcot is very much like having a prostate exam. As much as you never wanted to be in such a position and as much as you try to get on with your life as if nothing happened, you can’t escape the knowledge that, metaphorically speaking, you HAVE had another man’s finger up your ass.

The sheer existence of Didcot relies on the necessity to link A and C with a B. While the eponymous parkway may have put Didcot on the map, it was the later introduction of the coal-burning power station that made it a visible blight on the landscape. While both the railway station and impressive cooling towers can be appreciated from either the comfort of a train carriage or a reasonably tall hill several miles away, you need to get closer to discover what really makes Didcot so…well, I guess you have to go there to understand (or maybe just read the relentlessly dull Twitter feed)

I was able to escape a little under a year ago and, to be honest, expected to miss the ol’ place a lot more than I do. I still return every now and again to visit my parents or scope some feral jailbait and I’m genuinely surprised by how much shittier the place is than I remember. Recently, I was struck with an inescapable comparison to the moment in Back to the Future Part II when Marty travels back from 2015 to find Hill Valley totally fucked – except worse as I didn’t even have a hover board.

Before tonight, there would have been little I could credit Didcot with except possibly for allowing me to claim a deprived upbringing whenever I think it’ll help. However, after watching an old episode of Mock the Week on Dave earlier, there is one positive thing to say:

Didcot offers undeniable proof that God exists. And he’s a bastard with a sick sense of humour.

You see, a few years back Didcot appeared in the top twenty list of the crappest towns in the UK. If enough people who lived there actually explored the town beyond the route from their home to the train station, this might have been cause for a fuss. As for the young boys and girls who fight with their Abingdon opposites out of pride for their community, their literacy rate falls somewhere just above being able to read the pregnancy test results and below the instructions for a condom, so they wouldn’t have found out about it anyway.

This isn’t shocking anyway. What is mind-blowingly surprising however (and provides final proof in that God character), is that residents of Didcot have the longest, healthiest lives in the whole of England and Wales! This article from The Telegraph uses the phrase “… residents enjoy the longest, healthiest lives…” but I think ‘enjoy’ is surely pushing the limits of journalistic integrity.

What kind of twisted world do we live in where one of the most depressing and soulless places in the UK also has its most healthily long-lived population? Living in Didcot’s kind of like being in a stable coma on life support – do yourself a favour and pull the fucking plug already.

Update! Here’s a video clip of that Mock the Week referencing Didcot (and legs on pies…)

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